Unveiling of the Beijing 2022 Torch, Bach invites the world to China. Malagò: see you in Beijing
One year before the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games, the Olympic Torch that will light up the Asian edition has been unveiled. The torch was revealed during an event organised one year before the start of the Olympics to be held in China from 4th to 20th February 2022. It depicts an inner red ribbon intertwined with a silver one on the outer edge. The designers explained that it metaphorically represents fire and ice and will bring “light and warmth to the winter sports stage”.
To mark the occasion, IOC President Thomas Bach, in a video recorded at the Olympic House in Lausanne, formally invited the world’s National Olympic Committees and their winter sports athletes to participate in the Chinese Games. Bach symbolically signed and forwarded the invitation to eight NOCs, including the Chinese Olympic Committee and CONI, as the committee that will host the Games with Milano Cortina 2026. The other six NOCs were the Hellenic Olympic Committee, which is located in the country of origin of the Olympic Games, and the NOCs of the future host cities of the Olympic Games: the Japanese Olympic Committee for Tokyo 2020; the French Olympic Committee for Paris 2024; the United States Olympic Committee for LA28. The Australian Olympic Committee and the Nigerian Olympic Committee were also invited, both of which sent the largest delegations, from Oceania and Africa respectively, to the last Olympic Winter Games. All eight NOCs accepted the invitation via a video message. “On behalf of the Italian National Olympic Committee,” - the words of President Malagò, - “I thank the IOC for this invitation that we are pleased to accept. We will see you at Beijing.”
“A year from now, Beijing will make history by becoming the first city ever to host both the summer and winter editions,” Bach emphasised. “These games will unite the Chinese people with the world. Having seen how China is overcoming the coronavirus pandemic, we are very confident that they will ensure safe and secure Olympic Games in full cooperation with the IOC. Every time I have visited China, I have been so impressed by the enthusiasm and support for the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games. As such, we can already say with great confidence: China is ready.”
From today until Saturday 20th February, the Olympic Channel will present a selection of the most beautiful moments and the most impressive performances from the sports legends who have made their mark on the history of the Olympic Winter Games. Representing Italy will be Olympic short track champion Arianna Fontana.
In 2022, the best athletes will gather in China to compete and win the 109 gold medals on offer. The competitions will take place in three different clusters: one in Beijing, one in Yanqing to the north-west of the capital, and one in Zhangjiakou, about 200km from Beijing but only an hour away by high-speed train.
There will be 15 disciplines on the programme for seven sports: biathlon, bob-sleigh and skeleton, curling, ice hockey, luge, skating (including figure skating, short track and speed skating) and skiing (alpine, cross-country, freestyle, Nordic combined, ski jumping and snowboarding).
Compared to PyeongChang 2018, there will be 7 more gold medals to be awarded in the new events planned for bob-sleigh, short track, freestyle skiing, ski jumping and snowboarding. Among the new events is the women’s monobob, which enters the Olympic programme at senior level after its success at the 2016 Lillehammer and 2020 Lausanne Winter Youth Olympic Games. Also debuting are men’s and women’s freestyle skiing, men’s and women’s big air freestyle, mixed team freestyle aerials, mixed team ski jumping, mixed team snowboard cross relay and mixed short track relay.
The Beijing Olympics will be the closest Winter Games to gender parity in the history of the Olympics, with the portion of women rising from the 41% seen in PyeongChang to over 45%.