The 2020 Summer Olympics are a little more than a year away, but the wait will be longer for those who prefer the international sporting competition’s colder counterpart. The next Winter Olympics start in February 22, bringing a familiar venue and new events at the same time.
Here are some of the most important things to know about the 2022 Winter Olympics.
Seven new events are slated to debut at the 2022 Winter Olympics
As always, there will be new events to watch at the 2022 Winter Olympics. In total, seven new events will debut in Beijing: women’s monobob, men’s and women’s freestyle skiing big air, plus mixed team events in ski jumping, freestyle skiing aerials, snowboard cross and short track speed skating relay.
As noted by the official Olympics website, there will be more women competing in the 2022 winter games than ever before. Female competitors will make up more than 45 percent of entrants.
It will be the first time the same city has hosted both the summer and winter games
The next Winter Olympics are in Beijing, which also hosted the 2008 summer games. In fact, for the sake of efficiency, some of the venues built for the 2008 Summer Olympics will be reused in 2022.
The National Aquatics Center, affectionately called the “Water Cube,” will be the home of Olympic curling competitions in 2022. That facility hosted the swimming competitions in 2008.
On a similar note, the iconic “Bird’s Nest” arena will host the opening and closing ceremonies in 2022. Additionally, the volleyball and basketball venues from 2008 will host hockey games in three years.
2022 will mark the third straight Olympic Games hosted in southeast Asia
The Winter Olympics last year were hosted in Pyeongchang, South Korea. The 2018 winter games famously featured several rare public appearances by north Korean officials in South Korea.
Next year, the Summer Olympics will travel to Tokyo. It will be the fourth time the games have been held in Japan, and the first Summer Olympics in the country in more than 50 years.
The 2022 games will be the third consecutive Olympic competition in southeast Asia, and possibly the last for some time. In 2024, the Summer Olympics will travel all the way to paris.
There are environmental concerns about Beijing as a Winter Olympics venue
Some have criticized the decision to hold a Winter Olympics in Beijing for a simple reason: It does not snow much there. In fact, the region only averages a week of precipitation each winter and is usually above freezing in February.
The host city will have to resort to artificial snow, similar to what Russia did when the winter games were held in Sochi in 2014. That could add onto the already significant cost of hosting the Olympics, even in a city that has already done it before.
There were concerns about Beijing’s viability as a host city in the 2008 summer games, as well. Beijing has dealt with serious air pollution in the past, which was a major story in that year’s Olympics.