Europe ready to uphold its predominance at Winter Olympics as Beijing 2022 kicks off tomorrow
3 February 2022
The XXIV Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 will kick off tomorrow with all 50 European National Olympic Committees taking part in the spectacular opening ceremony at the iconic “Bird’s Nest” National Stadium.
Europe will be represented at these Games by 1,903 out of the 2,872 overall athletes, led by Russia with the largest delegation (212), followed by Switzerland (167) and Germany (149). The smallest European teams are Albania, Cyprus and Malta with one athlete each.
Of the European athletes, over 90 are EYOF medallists, confirming the youth multi-sport event as an important springboard for their sports career.
“After the great results achieved at the last Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, when our continent gained a record number of 210 medals, I look forward to seeing our European athletes showing once again their predominance in winter sports,” said EOC President Spyros Capralos.
Europe usually takes home nearly 70% of the overall medals at Winter Olympics, with the most successful sports being cross country, biathlon and ski jumping.
Beside ice hockey team sport (363), the sports with the highest number of qualifying European athletes at Beijing 2022, are: alpine skiing (224), cross country (222), biathlon (175) and snowboard (135).
It is almost 14 years since the Chinese capital hosted the Summer Olympics in 2008, becoming the only city ever to host both summer and winter Olympics.
This year’s opening ceremony will focus on the official ‘Together for a shared future’ motto of the games, focusing on the challenges which the world has faced through the Covid-19 pandemic and other trials, such as global warming.
Chinese film director Zhang Yimou is in charge of the festivities, just as he was for the Summer Olympics ceremony in the same stadium. This event is expected to be on a much smaller scale though, with reports suggesting that 3,000 performers will take part, as opposed to 15,000 in 2008.
The opening ceremony is scheduled for 12:00 CET (8 pm in China) and can be watched live thanks on the platforms of the Official Olympic Broadcast Partners.
More information can be found at olympic.com