What You Need To Know About The Opening Ceremonies For The 2022 Winter Olympics In Beijing

The Winter Olympics are here!

Global Editorial Fellow
What You Need To Know About The Opening Ceremonies For The 2022 Winter Olympics In Beijing

Host cities always put on a show for the Olympics, and the opening ceremonies for Beijing 2022 are sure to be spectacular, regardless of how the world feels about China.

Many likely remember the extravagant opening ceremonies for the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing, which were orchestrated by director Zhang Yimou.

Zhang is once again in charge of this year's opening show, and he'll be staging it once more at the so-called "Bird's Nest" where the last one happened — although things will be quite different this time.

"In 2008, the Olympics was a brilliant stage and chance for our country to show ourselves [...] It’s different now. China’s status in the world, the image of the Chinese and the rise of our national status, everything is totally different now," Zhang said of the opening ceremonies, as reported by Washington Post.

How To Watch The Opening Ceremonies

The opening ceremonies of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics are set to air Friday, February 4 at 6:30 a.m. EST/3:30 a.m. PST.

Audiences in Canada can catch the show on CBC, while viewers in the U.S. will be able to watch it via NBC. Both broadcasters also have ways to watch if you don't have cable, so there's no excuse to miss it (except if you're sleeping, of course).

Who Will Be At The Opening Ceremonies?

This has been a very contentious topic over the last few months with many foreign dignitaries boycotting the Olympics over China's human rights record.

However, several world leaders, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, are expected to be there to show their support.

All the star athletes will still be participating in the Athlete Parade, which is best-known as a showcase for each country's flags and outfits.

Unlike the 2020 Tokyo Summer Games that happened in 2021, the stands in Beijing will be filled with people to cheer on the athletes.

However, due to China's strict closed-loop COVID-19 bubble around the Games, only those who live in mainland China will be able to go. Tickets have not been sold, but rather given out by Chinese authorities.

What's The Time Difference With Beijing?

Timezone conversions are always a headache when the Games are on the other side of the world, so here’s what you need to know.

Beijing is 13 hours ahead of the Eastern timezone and 16 hours ahead of the Pacific timezone.

In other words, the athletes will be sleeping through most of your day in North America, but you'll be able to catch the start of the day's events in the evening, and the last few events in the morning.

When Do The Olympic Sports Start?

Surprisingly, the actual events will already be underway when the opening ceremonies begin.

The first competitions started on Thursday and run until Sunday, February 20. We've put together a full list of all the medal events so you don't miss a single one.

This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

Andrew Mrozowski
Global Editorial Fellow