Opening ceremony to take place in Beijing as US dominates figure skating
The 2022 Winter Olympics will formally get underway with the opening ceremony taking place on Friday in Beijing. The ceremony is taking place at the Bird’s Nest stadium, built and used for the 2008 summer Olympic games, as Beijing becomes the first city to host both editions of the games. The stadium also served as the venue for Track and Field as well the men’s 2008 gold medal soccer game, but will not host any sporting events in 2022.
The opening ceremony will be directed by Oscar-nominated cinematographer Zhang Yimou, who directed the opening and closing ceremonies in 2008. The parade of nations is expected to follow the same order as at Beijing 2008, with countries entering the stadium according the strokes used in the Chinese-language characters of their names. Greece, as tradition dictates, will enter first as the first-ever host of the Olympics, and China as the host nation will enter last.
Away from the ceremony, British curlers Jen Dodds and Bruce Mouat will take on Australia in the mixed doubles event. Team USA dominated figure skating events that began on Friday, starting with American star Nathan Chen, 22, topping the chart with a new personal record of 111.71 in men’s short while Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue earned 86.56 in rhythm skating. Follow all the latest below.
Winter Olympics opening ceremony live
- Opening ceremony to take place at 11.30am GMT
- Eve Muirhead and Dave Ryding are Team GB flagbearers
- China land ice hockey win over Denmark
- USA keep top spot in figure skating
Games are like IOC’s reward to China for bad behaviour: Rippon
The selection of Beijing as the 2022 Winter Games host is like the International Olympic Committee rewarding China for bad behaviour on human rights, former US champion figure skater Adam Rippon said.
Rights groups have long criticised the IOC for awarding the Feb. 4-20 Games to China, citing its treatment of Uyghurs and other Muslim minority groups in the western Xinjiang region, which the United States has deemed genocide.
China has consistently denied allegations of human rights abuses and said it opposes the “politicisation” of sports.
Rippon, who won a bronze medal at the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics and is coaching American Mariah Bell at Beijing, said the IOC needed to “step up” on human rights and exercise more discretion when choosing hosts.
“I think the Chinese are going to put on an amazing Games and I think they are going to make sure everyone is as safe as possible but when it comes to human rights, we’re entering a Communist country,” Rippon told Reuters by phone.
“And I think that when we’re picking Olympic cities this needs to be something that is more regulated by the IOC. This is a position that they’ve put a lot of people in.
“It makes me think of being rewarded for bad behaviour. Always the hope is that (the Olympics) helps better the hosting nation as well, but I do agree that in light of all of the human rights violations in China, it does make you question why were they still allowed to host these Games?”
Team USA maintain top spot in figure skating
China’s Wenjing Sui and Cong Han topped the score board in pair skating’s short program, earning 10 points for their country. They were closely followed by Anastasia Mishina and Aleksandr Galliamov of ROC who scored 82.64 for ROC.
Team USA continued their dominance in figure skating as it secured third spot, earning their country 8 points. Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier scored the highest at 75.00 points, also their personal best short program score in pair skating.
The country remains on top after three of eight segments:
- USA, 28 points
- ROC, 26
- People’s Republic of China, 21
- Japan, 20
- Italy, 18
- Canada, 16
- Georgia, 15
- Czech Republic, 12
- Ukraine, 4
- Germany, 3
Russian president reaches Beijing ahead of the opening ceremony
07:00 , Namita Singh
Russian president Vladimir Putin arrived in Beijing ahead of the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympic Games.
His visit comes amid the growing Chinese support for Moscow amid the dispute with Ukraine that is threatening to break out into armed conflict.
Mr Putin held talks with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping upon arrival, reported the Associated Press.
Three men’s hockey player of Team USA test positive for Covid
Two top defenseman and a veteran forward of the Team USA men’s hockey team have tested positive for Covid. These include Jake Sanderson and Steven Kampfer, and forward Andy Miele.
While Sanderson remains in Los Angeles, the other two are isolating in the Olympic Village in Beijing.
Eighty per cent of Team USA athletes will attend Beijing opening ceremony
Around 80 per cent of the athletes of Team USA will attend the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics, said team chief Rick Adams.
“In terms of the opening ceremony, it may even be a record, we have 80% of our athletes walking tonight,” he told a news conference ahead of the event.
ROC’s scores dominating win against Switzerland in ice hockey
Switzerland saw another stunning defeat in women’s ice hockey as they lost to ROC by 5-2 in the group A match. Earlier on Thursday, they had taken a 12-1 thrashing from Canada.
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