Today, February 4 2022, the Olympic cauldron will be lit once again, signalling the start of the 24th Winter Olympic Games, being held in Beijing, China, which will be followed by the Paralympic Winter Games from the 4th to 13th March.
Beijing is actually the first city in history to host both a Summer and Winter Olympics and Paralympics and several of the iconic venues that we know and love from the 2008 Summer Olympics will be reused for the 2022 Winter games. New venues have also risen from the ashes of some truly unique locations. Recycling at its best!
Here is our quick guide to the venues to keep an eye out for as you enjoy the Beijing Games:
The National Stadium
The famous ‘Bird’s Nest’ stadium hosted the opening and closing ceremonies in 2008 and will reprise that role in 2022. The 2008 opening ceremony was widely lauded as the most spectacular in history so look forward to fireworks…literally.
National Aquatics Centre
The innovative blue box-shaped design of the Aquatics Centre quickly earned it the nickname of ‘The Water Cube’. Now it has been transformed into the ‘Ice Cube’ in preparation for the curling competition.
National Indoor Stadium
A much loved venue ‘The Fan’, so called for its resemblance to that famous ancient Chinese cooling device, was home to rhythmic gymnastics, trampoline, and handball in 2008. In 2022 things will get a little less genteel as it hosts the ice hockey competition!
Big Air Shougang
Arguably the most striking venue this winter will be Big Air Shougang. The freestyle skiing and snowboard competitions, where competitors perform death-defying high jumps, will be played out against an equally astounding backdrop. The jumps have been built on the site of a former steel works and boasts four huge cooling towers.
Although not a familiar name, you may actually have visited Yanqing as it is home to one of the most popular sections of the Great Wall of China, Badaling. The area is also home to ski resorts and will stage the alpine skiing and sliding events including the bobsled, luge, and skeleton. Again no surprise to those of you who have used the toboggan to descend from another section of the Great Wall at Mutianyu.
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