Explainer | Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics guide: venues, boycott, tickets, cost, mascot and everything you need to know
- Beijing 2008’s Water Cube has become the Ice Cube as part of Olympic legacy for first city to host Winter and Summer Games
- China’s capital will open the US$3.9 billion spectacular on February 4 next year
Starting on February 4 next year and running until February 20, it will be the biggest Winter Games yet, with Chinese President Xi Jinping reporting that everything was on track when he toured the venues in January.
It will be the second time that China has hosted an Olympics, with the Chinese capital also hosting the Summer Games in 2008.
Beijing becomes the first city to put on both the Summer and Winter Olympics, with several of the 2008 venues getting a wintry makeover to host next year.
Events – 109 in seven winter sports – will not just be held in downtown Beijing, though, as the Games take place across three competition zones in north China.
Here is everything you need to know about the Beijing 2022 Games as the clock ticks down to the opening ceremony:
The Water Cube of Beijing 2008 has become the Ice Cube of Beijing 2022. All of the ice events – curling, ice hockey and skating – will be held in the city at either the Ice Cube or the newly renovated Capital Gymnasium. The latter venue held volleyball for 2008 and will hold short-track speedskating and figure skating for 2022.
Beijing will also hold four snow events – Big Air snowboarding and freestyle skiing – at a newly constructed park in Shougang in the city’s west. The other new venue is the National Speed Skating Oval.
Yanqing, 80km away in Beijing’s sprawling suburbs, will host alpine skiing, bobsleigh, luge and skeleton.
Zhangjiakou, 190km away in neighbouring Hebei province, will stage the rest of the snow sports – snowboard, freestyle skiing, cross-country skiing, ski jumping, Nordic combined and biathlon.
A new high-speed rail connects the three hubs of Beijing, Yanqing and Zhangjiakou.
Ticket details have not yet been confirmed. A decision on whether fans can attend and how many will be made in the run-up to the Games as Chinese authorities and the International Olympic Committee agree on the protocols surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic.
Bing Dwen Dwen, a panda, is the mascot for 2022. “Bing” means “ice” in Mandarin, while “Dwen Dwen” is said to represent children.
“The mascot embodies the strength and willpower of athletes and will help to promote the Olympic spirit,” according to the official website.
State broadcaster CGTN reported that the Beijing budget was US$3.9 billion, small in comparison to the US$40 billion of Beijing 2008 and the most expensive Games in history, Sochi 2014, which came in at nearly US$50 billion.
Even the last Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang in 2018 cost US$14 billion.
Human Rights Watch was also critical of Kazakhstan, whose capital Almaty was the other finalist to host the 2022 Games.