Beijing’s Winter Olympics Begin with a Captivating Opening Day


Jonnathan Robles, Staff Writer

The Olympics are an international sporting event, dating back to the Ancient Greeks. Every four years, the world’s greatest athletes come together to compete in major sporting events. The passion these athletes have to compete can be seen all throughout the competition.

The United States won the most Olympic medals in the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo, Japan. After the enthralling event, many people were excited to witness the Winter Games. This year’s games will be held in China across three zones: Beijing, Yanqing, and Zhangjiakou.

There will be seven new sports this year including: 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.

“I think this year’s Olympics should be exhilarating to see,” said junior Chase Beck, a student-athlete. “The combination of new sports will be interesting, and seeing athletes compete on the highest stage should leave us with an amazing show.”

The opening ceremony took place in the famous Bird Nest, the same one used in the 2008 summer games opening ceremony. COVID-19 and cold temperatures have shortened this year’s opening ceremony to a mere 100 minutes, which is much shorter than the opening ceremony for the Summer Olympics held in Beijing in 2008.

The event began with a light show coming out of the stadium, which is lit in alternating colors. A theme of winter wonderland within the stadium makes a well-executed event. Many of the performers this year were teenagers and the audience was limited.

“This year’s opening ceremony was pretty short in my opinion,” says SHS senior Sakura Helm. “In terms of performance it was as phenomenal with the light show and the fireworks.”

The first gold medal of this year’s games went to Therese Johaug of Norway in the 15-kilometer women’s skiathlon cross-country race. Since then Norway has won another gold medal in the mixed relay (4x6km) making them the current top medalling country.

Other countries to have won the gold medal include: Slovenia, China, Netherlands, and Sweden. Countries to have reached the podium in this year’s games include: France, Russia, Canada, and Italy.

Upon writing, the United States are currently defeating Russia in the Women’s Preliminary Round of Ice Hockey by a score of 2-0. The United States is playing without Briana Decker, a three-time Olympian and a key part of this American team.

In final news, American Olympian, Shaun White, has stated in a press conference that these games will be his last. He has won three gold medals over the span of his career and will look to add another in his final competition.

“I’ve decided this will be my last Olympics,” White stated to reporters in Beijing. “I’ve given it my all. There have been some ups and downs on the way to get here. And with that I feel I’ve got stronger and better.”

The Olympic Games are proving to be a captivating event with the participation of the most skilled competitors in the world.