2022 Winter Olympics: Everything you need to know about the Beijing Winter Olympics

Everything you need to know about the 2022 Winter Olympics
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The 2022 Winter Olympics are finally here, live on NBC and Peacock! See below for the answers to all of your frequently asked questions surrounding the Beijing Winter Games. If you’ve missed any of the action, we’ve got you covered with the best moments from the 2022 Winter Olympics.

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When are the 2022 Winter Olympics?

The 2022 Winter Olympics are set to take place on Friday, February 4 through Sunday, February 20, just six months after the Tokyo Games. However, the competition begins with curling on Wednesday, February 2, two days before the Opening Ceremony.

RELATED: 2022 Winter Olympics – TV schedule, day-by-day viewing guide to the Beijing Winter Games

Where are the 2022 Winter Olympics taking place?

The 2022 Winter Olympics will be held in China across three zones: Beijing, Yanqing, and Zhangjiakou. The ice sports will be held in central Beijing, China’s capital, as well as four snow events (snowboard big air and freestyle skiing big air, men’s and women’s). The Opening and Closing Ceremonies will also take place in Beijing. Yanqing, a mountainous suburb of China’s capital located approximately 75 km (46.6 miles) northwest of Beijing’s city center, will host Alpine skiing and sliding events (bobsleigh, skeleton, and luge) and will also be the home of the Olympic Athletes’ village. Zhangjiakou, located approximately 180 kilometers northwest of Beijing (111.8 miles) will host the majority of the ski and snowboarding events including freestyle, cross-country, ski jumping, Nordic combined, and biathlon.

RELATED: 2022 Winter Olympics – Every gold medal moment of the Beijing Winter Games

RELATED: Live Winter Olympics Medal Count

What sports are in the 2022 Winter Olympics?

There will be a total of 109 medal events across the following 15 sports:

Additionally, the 2022 Winter Olympics will feature seven new events: Women’s Monobob, Men’s and Women’s Big Air (Freestyle Skiing), Mixed Team Snowboard Cross, Mixed Team Aerials, Mixed Team Short Track Relay, and Mixed Team Ski Jumping.

RELATED: Team USA athlete roster for 2022 Winter Olympics

What is the expected medal count for the U.S.?

The U.S. finished fourth on the medal table in PyeongChang with a total of 23 medals (9 gold, 8 silver, 6 bronze) and is expected to fare a similar result in Beijing. Shaun White (Carlsbad, California), Mikaela Shiffrin (Edwards, Colorado), and Nathan Chen (Salt Lake City, Utah) are just a few of Team USA’s biggest stars that are expected to compete in Beijing. White, a three-time Olympic gold medalist, could become the first U.S. man to win the same individual event at three Olympic Winter Games. Shiffrin, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, could potentially compete in five events in 2022 due to the schedule–the six-time world champion previously competed in five total events at the 2014 and 2018 Olympic Winter Games combined. Chen, the three-time reigning world champion in men’s singles, remains the favorite for gold in Beijing.

Will NHL players be allowed to compete in Beijing?

NHL players were originally set to return to the lineup in Beijing after missing the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics–their first Olympic absence since 1994–but the league made the decision to withdraw in late December 2021 due to a surge in COVID-19 cases that impacted the NHL’s schedule. Many NHL players were frustrated over the decision as letting players make individual choices to leave their NHL teams for the Olympics was never presented as an option.

RELATED: 2022 Winter Olympics – A guide to Men’s Hockey at the Beijing Winter Games

Will fans be allowed to attend the 2022 Winter Olympics?

The International Olympic Committee announced in mid-January that only “selected” spectators will be allowed to attend the Games due to the pandemic. No fans from outside the country will be allowed to attend the events and tickets are not being offered to the general public.

What is the time difference between the U.S. and China for the Beijing Winter Olympics?

During the 2022 Winter Olympics, Beijing will be 13 hours ahead of the Eastern Time Zone, and 16 hours ahead of the Pacific Time ZoneAn event that starts at 10:00 a.m. local time Monday will be at 9:00 p.m. EDT Sunday night.

How can I watch the 2022 Winter Olympics?

Peacock will be the streaming home of the Beijing Winter Games offering live stream coverage of every single event–that’s over 2,800 hours of Olympic action. Viewers can also tune to NBC, USA, and CNBC to watch the Games. Streaming will also be available via NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports app.

RELATED: 2022 Winter Olympics – How to watch, stream Beijing Winter Games on Peacock

How to watch the Closing Ceremony on NBC and Peacock

The Closing Ceremony of the 2022 Winter Olympics takes place on Sunday, February 20 live at 7:00 a.m. ET on Peacock and NBCOlympics.com and again in primetime at 8:00 p.m. ET on NBC and Peacock.

 

Who are the mascots of the Beijing Winter Games?

Bing Dwen DwenBing Dwen Dwen, the Olympic mascot, is a panda. In Mandarin, the word “Bing” has several meanings, including ice, and also symbolizes purity and strength. “Dwen Dwen” means robust and lively and also represents children. The mascot wears a full-body shell made out of ice and is said to embody the strength and spirit of Olympic athletes.

Shuey Rhon Rhon: Shuey Rhon Rhon, the Paralympic mascot, is a Chinese lantern child with a glowing heart who symbolizes warmth, friendship, courage, and perseverance of Paralympic athletes. The Chinese lantern is a cultural symbol representing celebration, harvest, and prosperity. Red is considered the most festive color (and is fitting since the Games will overlap with Chinese New Year celebrations).

RELATED: Winter Olympics 2022 Schedule – What to watch at the Beijing Winter Games on NBC and Peacock

How did U.S. women’s basketball replace its legends? It starts with Alyssa Thomas.

Alyssa Thomas
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If this FIBA World Cup marks the beginning of a new era of U.S. women’s basketball, it is notable, if not remarkable, that no player has been more visible than Alyssa Thomas.

Thomas is making her global championship debut in Sydney. She is the only woman on the team in her 30s. Rarely, if ever, has a player who waited this long to put on a U.S. uniform made such an impact out of the gate. Certainly not since the last major tournament in Australia, when 30-year-old Yolanda Griffith starred at the 2000 Olympics.

Over the last week, Thomas leads the U.S. in minutes played and is one of two players to start all seven games along with Breanna Stewart, the Tokyo Olympic MVP. She ranks fourth on the team in scoring (10.6 points per game), is tied for second in rebounding (6.7), second in assists (4.6) and first in steals (2.7).

The Americans, with their new breakthrough power forward, face China in Saturday’s final, seeking a fourth consecutive world title and 60th consecutive victory between Olympic and world championship play dating to 2006.

“She takes a lot of pressure off of us,” two-time WNBA MVP A’ja Wilson said after Thomas had 13 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists in a quarterfinal win over Serbia. “I think she’s the glue of this team, the X-factor of this team, because that’s her game and that’s her style.”

Thomas earned the nickname “Baby Bron Bron” at the University of Maryland for her LeBron James-like play. USA Basketball took notice in 2013, when she was one of six collegians named to a 33-player national team training camp.

But that participation was the last of Thomas’ bullet points on her USA Basketball bio for another nine years, until she was named to the FIBA World Cup qualifying team last February.

Thomas had to wait her turn.

The U.S. was loaded in the frontcourt in the 2010s with older veterans — Candace ParkerTina CharlesSylvia FowlesBrittney GrinerElena Delle Donne — and then Stewart and Wilson came along, becoming arguably the two most valuable Americans in the last Olympic cycle.

Thomas produced, to that point, the best WNBA season of her career in 2020, but tore an Achilles playing overseas in January 2021, ruling out any chance of making the Tokyo Olympic team.

The combination of players’ absences this year — Charles, after three Olympic golds, ceded to younger players, Fowles retired and Griner is being detained in Russia — and Cheryl Reeve becoming head coach created an opportunity.

Thomas seized it, leading the Connecticut Sun to the WNBA Finals, where she recorded triple-doubles in the last two games of a series loss to the Las Vegas Aces. Then she boarded a plane to Sydney for her first major international experience and has similarly flourished.

Jennifer Rizzotti, part of the USA Basketball selection committee, said the 6-foot-2 Thomas combines the movement of Lindsay Whalen, the passing of Parker and the physicality of Rebekkah Brunson. She plays with labrum tears in each shoulder. There’s no single player like her.

“There’s definitely some post players that have that point forward mentality, but not quite with the guard skills that Alyssa has,” Rizzotti said. “I don’t see anybody, including guards, that can do what she does in the open court. Then you talk about how disruptive she is defensively and her ability to guard one through five. A’ja can guard one through five, Stewie can guard one through five, but nobody’s as disruptive as Alyssa is. On the perimeter and off the ball.”

Thomas also fit what Reeve, who succeeded Dawn Staley as head coach, was looking for in retooling the roster following the retirement of Sue Bird and possible end of Diana Taurasi‘s national team career at age 40.

“[Reeve] made it clear that she was hoping with the guard turnover that we would be able to play faster, more athletically, more possessions in the game,” Rizzotti said. “And therefore, she wanted to have post players that could push tempo, that could facilitate and kind of fit in with a ball-handling, passing mentality from the trail spot.”

Still, Thomas did not expect to be putting on a USA jersey this year. “Shocked” is the word USA Basketball chose to describe her reaction to making this team.

“It was kind of a surprise,” she said, according to USA Basketball. “I had just really taken my name out of it.”

Rizzotti said Thomas is an example — a very successful one, it turns out — of an asset in the eyes of the selection committee: patience.

“I think a lot of players feel like if they don’t make the USA national team right away, it’s never going to happen,” she said. “You get the comments like, oh, it’s political, or they keep inviting the same guys back. And it’s not true.”

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U.S., China set for FIBA Women’s World Cup gold-medal game

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SYDNEY — Breanna Stewart and the United States used a dominant defensive effort to beat Canada and reach the gold-medal game of the FIBA Women’s World Cup for the fourth consecutive tournament.

Stewart scored 17 points and the Americans raced out to an early lead to put away Canada 83-43 on Friday, reaching a Saturday gold-medal game with China. The 43 points was the fewest scored in a semifinal game in World Cup history.

“Canada has been playing really well all tournament and the goal was just to come out there and really limit them,” said U.S. forward Alyssa Thomas. “We were really locked in from the jump with our game plan.”

China edged host Australia 61-59 in the later semifinal to reach its first global championship game since the 1994 Worlds, the last time it won a medal of any color. The U.S. beat China 77-63 in group play last Saturday, the Americans’ closest game of the tournament.

“Our goal was to to win a gold medal and we’re in position to do that,” U.S. coach Cheryl Reeve said.

The U.S. (7-0), which is on a record pace for points and margin of victory in the tournament, took control of the game early scoring the first 15 points. The Americans contested every shot on the defensive end as the Canadians missed their first nine attempts from the field. On the offensive end, Stewart, A’ja Wilson and Thomas basically got any shot they wanted.

“I think after that punch, it really took the air out of them,” Thomas said. “They didn’t know what to do with their offense anymore after that.”

MORE: FIBA World Cup Schedule, Results

Laeticia Amihere, who plays at South Carolina for former U.S. coach Dawn Staley, finally got Canada on the board nearly 5 minutes into the game making a driving layup.

By the end of the quarter the U.S. led 27-7. Canada had committed four turnovers — the same number the team had against Puerto Rico in the quarterfinals which was the lowest total in a game in 30 years.

The Americans were up 45-21 at the half and the lead kept expanding in the final 20 minutes. The win was the biggest margin for the U.S. in the medal round topping the 36-point victory over Spain in the 2010 World Cup.

Canada (5-2) advanced to the medal round for the first time since 1986 and has a chance to win its first medal since taking the bronze that year.

“We didn’t get it done today, but what we’re going to do is take this with what we learned today and how we can turn it up tomorrow,” Canada captain Natalie Achonwa said. “It’s still a game for a medal and it’s just as important for us.”

The U.S. has won seven of the eight meetings with Canada in the World Cup, although the last one came in 2010. The lone victory for Canada came in 1975.

The victory was the 29th in a row in World Cup play for the Americans, who haven’t lost since the 2006 semifinals against Russia. The Soviet Union holds the World Cup record with 56 straight wins from 1959-86. This is only the second time in the Americans’ storied history they’ve reached four consecutive gold-medal contests. They also did it from 1979-90, winning three times.

This U.S. team, which has so many new faces on it, is on pace to break many of the team’s records that include scoring margin and points per game. The Americans also continued to dominate the paint even without 6-foot-8 Brittney Griner, outscoring its opponents by an average of 55-24.

Amihere led Canada with eight points.

RECORD BREAKING

The low point total broke the mark of 53 that South Korea scored against Russia in 2002.

“We’re starting to build that identity,” Wilson said of the defensive effort. “We’re quick and scrappy and I think that’s our identity.”

The U.S. is averaging 101 points a game. The team’s best mark ever coming into the tournament was 99.1 set in 1994.

STILL RECOVERING

Kahleah Copper sat out after injuring her left hip in the win over Serbia in the quarterfinals. Copper landed hard on her hip driving to the basket and had to be helped off the court. She hopes to play on Saturday. Betnijah Laney, who also got hurt in the Serbia game, did play against Canada.

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