Winter Olympics 2022: new epitome of Globalization

By Yasir Habib Khan | Gwadar Pro Feb 8, 2022

Since the dice of Beijing Winter Olympics 2022 has rolled from February 04 to onward, the global community has mouthed a big shout-out to China for enriching a deep sense of globalization. Its global appeal continues to resonate in the length and breadth of the international sports landscape. The opening ceremony that unleashed top-notch games with grace, splendor and ingenuity, has offered everybody a new taste of awesomeness.

As first impression is last impression, the opening ceremony of international multi-sport event at Beijing National Stadium, or the Bird’s Nest Stadium, has left a lasting imprint on human minds. Since inauguration stole all hearts even the objectors, the rest of the ongoing XXIV Olympic Winter Games with participation of 91 countries vying for 15 disciplines are in high gear.

Management splendor encompassing digital improvisation, illumination, soother ambience has raised the bar for others. To me, the real forte of games is the functionality that anchors on unflinching rules and regulation in collaboration with OIC.

Being a torch-bearer of globalization, Chinese leadership keeps up a high congenial spirit from the onset to onward flow of games in the face of brewing hostile voices. One Sports Expert perhaps depicted the situation with the famous Arabic proverb “Dogs bark but the caravan goes on”.

Being President of the Institute of International Relations, I openly subscribe to the written expression of Rabi Sankar Basu published on CGTN that echoing the words of Chinese President Xi Jinping, it can be said that "history will engrave this stroke" through the ice and the snowflakes to build "a community with a shared future for mankind" as he has called for on numerous occasions when the world is being perplexed by anti-globalization sentiments.

Undoubtedly, he mentioned perfectly that the selection of 20-year-old cross-country skier Dinigeer Yilamujiang, an ethnic Uygur from northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, is a powerful rebuff to the "diplomatic boycott" of the Beijing 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games instigated by the U.S. and its allies under the so-called unfounded accusations of "forced labor" and "violation of human rights" in Xinjiang region.

Besides, the attendance of more than 30 state leaders and heads of international organizations who graced the mega ceremony of the winter sports underlined the true sense of shared spirit of togetherness and solidarity with China in the sports landscape. In other words, it can be said that the gathering of athletes and the presence of distinguished political leaders and guests from around the world is a "no-confidence vote" against the U.S.-led "diplomatic boycott" of the Beijing 2022 Olympics which only exposes their ugly intention.

The event is taking place across three clusters. Beijing itself is hosting the indoor events - curling, speed skating, figure skating and ice hockey - Yanqing, located 75km (47 miles) out of Beijing, is the home of the sliding sports - bobsleigh, skeleton and luge - and alpine skiing, while the mountains of Zhangjiakou, 180km (111 miles) away from the Chinese capital, is hosting the freestyle skiing and snowboarding events, ski jumping, biathlon and cross-country. Many of the venues in Beijing from the 2008 Games have been repurposed, including swimming's Water Cube, which has been renovated to become the home of curling, and the Bird's Nest stadium, which will also host the closing ceremony on Feb 20 after charging up the glorious opening ceremony.

Artificial snow has been used across all venues - although there was some natural snowfall in Zhangjiakou in the week leading up to the Games. It is estimated that 49m gallons (222.8m litres) of water have been used to produce the fake snow in Yanqing alone.

The winter Olympic Games have been conducted once every four years. The First Winter Olympic Games took place in 1924. There are 12 countries which have participated in all XXIII Winter Olympic Games. They are Austria, Canada, Finland, France, Great Britain, Hungary, Italy, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United States. The first winter sport was figure skating, which was held in 1908. In the first Olympic Games, there were 21 skaters from 6 countries who participated and competed in 4 events.

There has been a gradual growth in participating countries in the winter Olympic Games. When the 1998 Winter Olympics were held in Nagano, Japan, there were 72 nations which participated. In the year 2002, the Winter Olympics were conducted by the United States in Salt Lake City. 77 countries participated. At the 2006 Winter Olympics, participated countries were 80 in number. 82 nations have participated in the 2010 Winter Olympics whereas, for the 2014 Winter Olympics, 88 countries participated. The highest number of countries so far which have participated was at the 2018 Olympic Games and the total number of nations was 92.

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