2022 Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony: How to watch and key times for the Beijing Games

Winter Olympics


The Winter Games opening ceremony is expected to be on a smaller scale than the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing

Perhaps the most exciting part of the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics was the opening ceremony.


World leaders, including then-President George W. Bush, joined 90,000 spectators inside the "Bird's Nest" stadium and - along with an estimated billion TV viewers - watched 2,008 other drummers and thousands of artists celebrate Chinese culture.
The opening ceremony of the Beijing 2022 Winter Games on Friday will be different.
As the epidemic continues to spread, and China employs a "No Covid" policy, there will be a small portion of spectators and performers.
And looming geopolitical tensions the Biden administration will not send any officials to the Winter Olympics, citing a campaign of forced assimilation of Muslim-majority minorities in China's Xinjiang region, which US officials have said amounts to a form of genocide - an accusation Beijing denies.


When does the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics begin?

The event starts on February 4th at 8pm. In China at 12 noon. In London, 7 am in New York and 4 am in California.


How do I watch the opening ceremony?

Coverage in the US will begin tonight on NBC and Peacock at 6:30 a.m. ET.
NBC and Peacock will then broadcast a modified show of the opening ceremony again from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. ET, focusing on the athletes on Team USA as well as the competition.


What can we expect from the opening ceremony in Beijing?

The world is witnessing another opening ceremony for Chinese director Zhang Yimou, who was also responsible for the 2008 release. He has been relatively silent about the February 4th party.
The mediocre performance will be shown to ordinary people, he said, according to a recent article in the People's Daily, the main newspaper of China's ruling Communist Party.
Instead of professional actors, the newspaper said, ordinary people would take to the stage to do things like square dancing during the warm-up period at the ceremony.
This dance is popular among the elderly in public squares or parks in China.
Compared to the 2008 opening ceremony, which spanned more than four hours, this week's performance will last about 100 minutes, due in part to the weather and the pandemic, the newspaper said. There will be about 3,000 artists, compared to 15,000 more than a decade ago.
Asked by China Central Television to describe the upcoming concert without revealing many details, Mr. Zhang said: "Ethereal. Romantic. Fashionable. Technological."
What happened at the opening ceremony of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing?
The party began with 2,008 drummers in the middle of Bird's Nest Stadium, and ended with former Chinese Olympic champion Li Ning flying into the sky to light the torch above the stadium.
And in between, there were dances and songs that celebrated Chinese culture, and plenty of fireworks.


What traditionally happens at the opening ceremony of the Olympics?

There are performances that usually celebrate the culture of the host country.
For example, the 2012 Summer Olympics in London featured dancing nurses who praised the country's beloved NHS, while the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro delivered a heavy dose of samba. After the performances, there is the Parade of Nations, where athletes from the participating nations walk to the stadium behind their flag.
The ceremony ends with the lighting of the Olympic flame, often by a dignitary of the host nation.
The previous opening ceremony took place just six months ago, as the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics has been postponed by a year due to the pandemic.
In a stadium mostly empty and closed to the general public, actors highlighted the suffering of the pandemic and tennis star Naomi Osaka lit the torch.
Beijing organizers expect to receive about 2,900 athletes from 91 national delegations.
But unlike in 2008, when President Bush attended the opening ceremony, the United States and many of its allies did not send any official government representatives to the Games, citing China's alleged human rights abuses.


Who will attend the party?

Chinese President Xi Jinping will attend the ceremony, as will world leaders including Russian President Vladimir Putin and Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Journalists will also attend. And although tickets for the Olympics are not sold to the general public, the organizers will invite some guests, so the stadium will not be empty.


Who are the bearers of the flag of the United States of America to attend the opening ceremony?

Team USA has revealed that Olympic bobsledder Ilana Myers-Taylor and hairball John Schuster will be the flag bearers of the Beijing Winter Olympics.


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