Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022
Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 kicked off in a splendid ceremony last Friday at the lattice-shaped National Stadium, Beijing, China.
While waving hands to the jubilant crowd, President Xi Jinping and International Olympics Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach entered the iconic “Bird’s Nest” stadium. The crowd roared with joy and simultaneously cheers went off, as Mr Bach welcomed President Xi Jinping to the podium.
Shortly after their entry, fireworks exploded over the “Bird’s Nest”, the snowflake-themed ceremony went off, making Beijing the first city in the world to host both the Summer and Winter Olympics. It was the same city, which hosted the 2008 Games. Besides the snowflake motif, hundreds of kids ran and danced while holding dove props to mark the traditional Olympic symbol of peace. As they dance, the stadium floor lights up beneath them, with shining stars and snowflakes.
The Chinese flag was passed amongst 56 people representing different Chinese ethnic groups; giving a message that there is no ethnic issue in the People Republic of China and all citizens enjoy equal rights contrary to the propaganda in a section of western media. The flag was raised and the national anthem was performed.
Amongst the central threads of the opening ceremony were the inflatable balloon, depicting Bin Dwen Dwen, one of the two Olympic mascots, and the performers presenting the “story of a snowflake.”
Greece’s team was first to appear on the stage while carrying their national flags; they were followed by a team of Turkish athletes. The Pakistani team received a round of applause, as it entered the stadium where Prime Minister Imran Khan amongst other world leaders was also in attendance. “There was applause for any team after China in the stadium. It was Pakistan team, Chinese love Pakistan and this applause is an expression of the same spirit,” Information Minister Fawad Choudhary said in a Twitter message.
China has created history; despite the challenging corona pandemic, the country has succeeded in bringing more than 2,900 athletes from 91 countries to compete and to achieve Olympic glory in their specialities.
Before the entry of the Olympic flag and singing of the Olympic anthem in the stadium, President IOC Thomas Bach welcomed the participants of the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022. “To all our Chinese friends: a very happy New Year; Happy New Year! Best wishes for the Year of the Tiger!”
According to Mr Bach, the new chapter can only be written in sporting history, “because of our gracious hosts–the Chinese people, whom we thank wholeheartedly for welcoming us all so warmly”.
He lauded the Chinese government’s efforts to make the Olympic Winter Games happen despite Coid-19 “in a safe way for everyone”, adding “In this Olympic spirit of peace, I appeal to all political authorities across the world: observe your commitment to this Olympic Truce. Give peace a chance”.
According to him, “well over 300 million people are engaged in winter sports in about 2,000 ski resorts and ice rinks. This extraordinary achievement opens a new era for global winter sport. It will raise the global participation to new levels, benefiting the Chinese people as well as winter sports enthusiasts around the world.
Before the opening of the games, President Xi had stated, “China will do its best to deliver to the world a streamlined, safe and splendid Games and act on the Olympic motto ‘Faster, Highest, Stronger ─ Together”.
As stated by President Xi, the splendid Winter Games have begun in a safe and peaceful environment. China has provided the world’s best facilities for athletes to compete in.
The first gold medal of the Beijing Winter Olympic went to Norway’s Therese Johaug, in cross-country skiing in women skiathlon. It was her first gold medal in the 15-kilometre race. The 33-year-old female athlete achieved the target in 44 minutes and 13.7 seconds.
Until Saturday evening, Norway has won two gold medals (in BTH in Mixed Relay 4x6km (W+M)/ CCS Women’s 7.5km + 7.5km Skiathlon); followed by Russia (CCS in Men’s 15km + 15km Skiathlon), Slovenia (SJP in Women’s Normal Hill Individual), China (STK in Mixed Team Relay), Netherland (SSK in Women’s 3000m), New Zealand (Women’s Snowboard Slopestyle) and Sweden (Men’s Moguls) with one gold medal each.