Global sporting events always draw vast amounts of attention from a worldwide audience, hoping to catch a glimpse of talent that secures the highest sporting achievements out there – and nothing quite compares to the prestige on display at the Olympic Games.
The Winter Olympics is the colder cousin of the Olympic Games which take place during the summertime – the last being the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, after being delayed from 2020. With the climate that winter brings, it allows for an entirely different set of sports to be conducted for athletes who prefer to don their skis, snowboards, ice skates and more.
Based on our recent online paid survey poll of people in the UK, the Summer Olympics typically draw a larger crowd with just over ¾ of people preferring the sunnier sports – but the Winter Olympics still has a dedicated fanbase. The 2022 Winter Olympics kicked off on Friday 4th February – and here’s everything you need to know to bring you up to speed on key details and the British athletes to watch.
Where were the Winter Olympics 2022 held?
China hosted the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing – welcoming athletes from countries all over the world to its Olympic Village to compete in the Winter Games.
The games were held in a variety of different venues around Beijing, some of which have been purpose built for this Winter Olympic Games 2022. This included the Beijing Zone – primarily for the ice sports, as well as the opening and closing ceremonies – the Yanqing Zone for alpine skiing and sliding events, and the Zhangjiakou Zone that’s home to a popular ski resort.
Will there be an opening ceremony for the winter Olympics?
Yes – in fact, it already took place on the 4th February to symbolise the start of the event. The XXIV Olympic Winter Games opened with a stunning display in the Beijing National Stadium, also known as the Bird’s Nest, with the theme of “One World, One Family”. You can relive the Olympics opening ceremony by watching the highlights here.
What sports are in the Winter Olympics 2022?
The Winter Olympics is divided up between 7 distinctly different sports, including:
- Ice hockey
Technically, there is also an eighth sport – snowboarding – but it is typically bundled in with the skiing category as the events share a number of similarities.
How many events are in the Winter Olympics 2022?
In total, there are 109 events taking place over the course of the Beijing Winter Olympics. Each of the sports contains a range of different disciplines which athletes can participate in, divided into the Men’s and Women’s categories.
For events which require teams to compete, there can also be categories for Doubles, Teams, Relay events, and iterations which require specific numbers of participants – such as the 2-man and 4-man bobsleigh events.
Which games will be introduced in the Winter Olympics?
There are a number of new events being introduced at the Winter Olympics Games for 2022, bringing in new Mixed sporting events and fresh disciplines for athletes to participate in:
- Women’s Monobob
- Freestyle Skiing – Big Air (Men’s and Women’s)
- Mixed Team Freestyle Skiing Aerials
- Mixed Team Ski Jumping
- Mixed Team Snowboard Cross
- Mixed Relay in Short Track Speed Skating
These 7 events were announced by the IOC back in July 2018 following the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. The Big Air Event will be taking place at Big Air Shougang in Shougang Park, built on the site of a former steel mill and the world’s first permanent venue for the Big Air event.
How many athletes competed in the Winter Olympics 2022?
This wide number of sports within the Winter Games means that many athletes from all over the world travel to compete – participants at the pinnacle of their sporting careers, veterans aiming to maintain their legacy, and rookies looking to prove themselves on the world stage.
From Dutch speed skater Irene Wüst, who has made history as the first Olympian to win a gold medal in 5 Olympic Games back-to-back, to 17-year-old Jordan Stolz who is part of the US speed skating team making his Olympic debut – there’s plenty of talent to keep you entertained across all the events and teams taking part.
How many British athletes took part in the Winter Olympics for the UK?
Team GB specifically is made up of 50 athletes – 27 men and 23 women.
British Olympic athletes to watch at the 2022 Winter Olympics
Katie Ormerod – Women’s Slopestyle Snowboarding
Although Katie’s run came short of qualifying for the finals, her story is one of triumph. After a fall in the 2018 Winter Games, she suffered a split heel and required 7 surgeries plus physiotherapy in order to walk again. She’s come back from the brink to compete for Team GB, so her performance is something to behold regardless of her placement.
Gus Kenworthy – Men’s Freestyle Skiing
Former medalist Kenworthy previously competed for Team USA, before switching to Team GB – having been born in the UK. Having won silver for the United States and picking up his first medal for Team GB in February 2020, plenty of eyes will be on his performance.
Dave Ryding – Men’s Slalom
After winning Britain’s first ever Alpine Skiing World Cup gold medal in Kitzbuhel back in January, Ryding is looking to pick up another medal in slalom at Beijing. With plenty of experience and the momentum of victory at his back, the Chorley-based athlete will have lots of people at home cheering him on.
These are just some of the Olympic athletes UK viewers will potentially want to tune in for or rewatch their performance. Ice hockey, figure skating and ski jumping came in as the top three sports in our UK paid online survey – so be sure to catch up on all the action when you can. No matter how Team GB place with medals, let’s give them all the support we can! If you’re interested in our future paid online surveys then you can create an account right here.