Beijing 2022: Historic Olympic Winter Games on and off the field

[with input from]

History was made during the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022, with athletes and audiences contributing to record-breaking performances on and off the snow and ice.

Beijing is the first city to host summer and winter editions of the Olympic Games in three competition zones – Beijing, Janging and Zhagjiakou with 12 competition venues and, of those, five were legacy venues from the 2008 Beijing games.

Competitors once again excelled, with the world’s greatest winter sports athletes delivering outstanding performances – breaking Olympic and world records, raising the bar for equality, and inspiring the next generation of Olympians.

This success was illustrated by the fact these were the most digitally engaged Olympic Winter Games ever, with billions of engagements across digital platforms, including Olympic and Rights-Holding Broadcasters’ properties.

There were more hours of broadcast coverage made available than at any previous Olympic Winter Games edition, including record coverage through digital platforms.

The Beijing 2022 Opening Ceremony achieved the highest global audience reach ever for an Olympic Winter Games Opening Ceremony. In China, broadcast coverage of the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 reached over 600 million people through TV alone.

The legacy of the Games is expected to be wide-sweeping in China.  According to the National Bureau of Statistics of China, over 346 million Chinese people have engaged in winter sport since 2015 and 26,000 people trained as winter sports instructors in Beijing in 2021 alone.

  • There are now almost 2,000 ice and snow facilities across China and the income from ice and snow tourism exceeded RMB 390 billion in 2020-2021.
  • In 2019, Zhangjiakou received more than 86 million tourists and revenue of over RMB 100 billion – up by over 20 per cent on the previous year and, as of June 2021, all 12 poverty-stricken counties and districts in Zhangjiakou had been lifted out of poverty.
  • In Yanqing, preparations for the Games helped drive an increase of more than 35 per cent in disposable income per capita, between 2015 and 2019.

For the Beijing 2022 Olympics, over one million people applied for volunteer positions, with around 19,000 selected to support the Games. All the Beijing 2022 venues have legacy plans in place, ensuring their post-Games, multipurpose use, all year-round.

Click here to read the Beijing 2022 legacy case studies.

When it comes to education, China has now introduced Olympic and Paralympic programs including winter sports in the the curriculum in more than 2,500 primary and secondary schools and, since 2019, some 200,000 children have learned about the Olympic and Paralympic values in Beijing.

When it comes to sustainability Beijing 2022 is on track to being carbon-neutral.  All Beijing 2022 venues were powered by 100 per cent renewable energy and constructed with new green standards.  In four ice venues, carbon emissions and energy consumption were reduced through the use of Natural CO2 refrigeration systems used for the first time.  All passenger cars and 84.9 per cent were fuel efficient hydrogen, electric, natural gas and hybrid vehicles.  China also implemented carbon compensation measures including reforestation since 2014 with the tree planting of 47,333 hectares in Beijing and 33,000    Zhangjiakou. Beijing 2022’s Pre-Games Sustainability Report.

During the 19 days of competition with seven sports and 15 disciplines, 2,897 athletes competed in 109 medal events.

Among the events, several were new including the Women’s Monobob; Freestyle Skiing Men and Women’s Freeski Big Air; Short Track Speed Skating Mixed Team Relay; Ski Jumping Mixed Team NH; Freestyle Skiing Mixed Team Aerials and Mixed Team Snowboard Cross.

Seventeen Olympic records were also broken including two world records.  There were 91 national Olympic Committees (NOC) that participated and one NOC, New Zealand, won its first Olympic Winter Games gold medals (2 gold: Men’s Freeski Halfpipe + Women’s Snowboard Halfpipe).

These Winter Games area also considered the most gender-balanced Olympic Winter Games with 45 per cent of competitors who were women and 55 per cent men. With 53 per cent of the Games featuring female athletes, both individual and in mixed-team events, it was the highest female participation ever in the Games’ history.

Seven disciplines moved to gender balance for the first time: skeleton; luge (men’s and women’s singles); speed skating; cross-country skiing; alpine skiing; and freestyle skiing and snowboard reaching this milestone in Beijing, making for a total of 10 (out of 15) fully gender-balanced disciplines.

In addition, 45 per cent of the total number of flag bearers at the Opening Ceremony were women, compared to 30 per cent in PyeongChang.

The 2022 Olympic Games also used digital media as it never had been used before.  In a global collaboration with YouTube, unique viewers grew by 58 per cent compared to 2018 in PeyeongChang, with an increase of more than ten million surpassing the previous 93 million.  In addition, innovative digital platform collaborations resulted in 2.1 billion video views.

 Olympic Games closing ceremony