Beijing is hosting the 2022 Winter Olympics from 4 to 20 February 2022. It will mark the first time China hosts the Winter Olympics, and the second time it’s hosted the Games after the Summer Olympics in 2008.
China is maintaining a zero-tolerance strategy for Covid-19 during the Games. Everyone participating – close to 3,000 athletes, along with media and Games-related staff – will remain in a closed vaccine bubble, with movement limited to inside event-related areas and other locations like accommodation and catering grounds from the time they enter China until the end of the Games. Athletes and stuff must be fully vaccinated or quarantine for 21 days upon arrival in the country, and get tested for Covid-19 daily.
Beijing previously announced no overseas spectators would be allowed at events. On 17 January 2022, it announced even local spectators would no longer be allowed to buy tickets; invitations to attend events will be sent out at the government’s discretion.
Three Hong Kong athletes have qualified to compete in two events at Beijing 2022: Adrian Yung and Audrey King in alpine skiing, and Sidney Chu in short track speed skating. The trio will be the largest Hong Kong team to participate in a Winter Olympics, after the team of two sent to 2002 Salt Lake City (Hong Kong’s Winter Olympic debut).
What are the Winter Olympics?
The first Winter Olympics was held in France in 1924 (the first Summer Olympics held in Athens, Greece in 1896). Held once every four years, the competition brings the best athletes in snow and ice sports in the world together.
The 15 Winter Olympic events are Alpine skiing, Biathlon, Bobsleigh, Cross‑country skiing, Curling, Figure skating, Freestyle skiing, Ice hockey, Luge, Nordic combined, Short track speed skating, Skeleton, Ski jumping, Snowboarding, and Speed skating.
Who are the Hong Kong athletes going to the 2022 Winter Olympics?
Adrian Yung Hau-tsuen
17-year-old Adrian will be Hong Kong’s first men’s alpine skier at a Winter Olympics. The athlete started skiing at the age of 3, growing up in the United Kingdom. Yung’s dad is a Hong Kong native.
19-year-old Audrey King will be the second alpine skier in Hong Kong’s delegation. She developed a love for skiing with family visits to Japan’s ski resorts throughout her childhood. Notably, Audrey was one of two of Hong Kong’s representatives at the 3rd Winter Youth Olympic Games in 2020.
Sidney Chu Ting-man
22-year-old Sidney is participating in the 500m short track individual event. The athlete broke his ankle in 2018, shattering hopes of qualifying for the 2018 Winter Olympics. In an inspiring turn, he went on to win silver in the 100m event and bronze medal in the 500m event at the 2019 Asian Championships.
The 2022 Winter Olympics will kick off with the opening ceremony on February 4, 2022 at 7:30pm China Standard Time. The ceremony will run for less than 100 minutes, the ceremony director told Chinese state media, due to the cold weather and smaller number of performers, compared to the 4-hour-long ceremony that opened the 2008 Beijing Summer Games. The Games will be followed by the Winter Paralympic Games from 4 to 13 March 2022.
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Header image credits: Sidney Chu