Close of up Beijing 2022 name on ice at the sliding centre trackAP Photo/Jae C. Hong
AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

Frequently Asked Questions About the Beijing 2022 Olympic Games

While it may feel like Tokyo 2020 was just yesterday, it’s already time for another two weeks of all-hours-of-the-night action emanating from East Asia!

Beijing 2022 is promising plenty that will make this year’s event unique and special. So, let’s roll through some frequently asked questions about these Olympic Winter Games.

What time is it in Beijing?

China, despite being a pretty big country, has just one time zone. Canada, also a pretty big country, has six. So, here’s a trick that may help you keep track of what’s happening when.

Give your time zone a number: Pacific is four, Mountain three, Central two, Eastern one, Atlantic zero and Newfoundland is -0.5.

RELATED: Beijing 2022 Competition Schedule

Take a Beijing local time, go backwards half a day, then keep moving back based on your time zone. So, if you’re in Vancouver and see an 11 a.m. Tuesday start in Beijing, go back half a day (11 p.m. Monday) plus four more hours (7 p.m. Monday). In Toronto? 10 p.m. Monday. St. John’s? 11:30 p.m. Monday (yes, go forward half an hour).

Alternately, just PVR everything and watch later… but that’s less fun.

Wide shot of Yanqing Sliding Centre
The Yanqing National Sliding Centre is seen during a media tour in Yanqing on the outskirts of Beijing, Friday, Feb. 5, 2021. The venue will host bobsleigh, luge, and skeleton competition during the upcoming 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

How cold is it in Beijing?

The Chinese capital generally ranges between 5 C and -5 C in February, averaging out at around freezing… positively balmy, by Canadian standards. However, in the two other zones being used in these Games, the picture changes.

RELATED: Beijing 2022 Venue Guide

In Zhangjiakou, which will host Nordic skiing, freestyle skiing and snowboard events, the range dips down to between 1 C and -10 C. Meanwhile, over in Yanqing, which will host bobsleigh, skeleton, luge and alpine skiing, expect temperatures between -1 C and -10 C.

Wide shot of Canadian speed skaters rounding the ice
Isabelle Weidemann, Maddison Pearman, Alexa Scott, Valérie Maltais and Ivanie Blondin during a training session at the National Speed Skating Oval during the 2022 Olympic Winter Games in Beijing, China on January 29, 2022. (Photo: DaveHolland/Canadian Sport Institute Calgary)

What’s new in 2022?

There are seven new events this time, the most fascinating of which might be the women’s monobob. As the name suggests, it’s a one-person bobsleigh, giving women a second Olympic event.

Also making their debuts are men’s and women’s ski big air, as well as mixed team competitions in freestyle skiing aerials, ski jumping and snowboard cross. There will also be a mixed relay in short track speed skating.

Where can I get those Team Canada outfits?

For the first time, Team Canada’s uniform kits have been designed by lululemon. The company worked with Canadian Olympians and Paralympians over an 18-month period to help create a design that would optimize comfort and performance.

The Team Canada x lululemon Collection’s theme is Feel Canada, which the designers say “represents a modern Canada of diversity, innovation and transformation”. The brand will be the Official Outfitter of Team Canada through Los Angeles 2028, and fans can pick up their own gear in lululemon stores and online.

Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier perform a dance lift while wearing the red opening ceremony uniform
Ice dancers Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier wear the Beijing 2022 Opening Ceremony uniform by lululemon

Where is the Russian team?

As was the case in Tokyo, athletes from Russia will compete under the name and flag of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC). In 2019, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) banned Russia from international competition for four years; however, on appeal, the penalty was reduced. Russian athletes can compete at events such as the Olympic and Paralympic Games, but without using the nation’s name, flag or anthem.

Four years ago, at PyeongChang 2018, Russian athletes competed under the banner of Olympic Athletes from Russia (OAR), as it was the ROC itself serving a suspension from WADA.

Members of the Russian Olympic Committee team walk before their departure for the 2022 Winter Beijing Olympic Games in Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport, Russia, Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2022. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)

What is the “closed loop”?

In an effort to reduce or even eliminate COVID-19 transmission during these Olympic Games, the hosts have instituted a “closed loop” system. Each of the three competition zones comprises its own bubble, with the goal that athletes and delegates never come into contact with the general population.

There’s also an extensive testing regimen, isolation centres for anyone who tests positive, and immediate flights back home for all visitors at the end of the Games. That’s in addition to the masking and distancing protocols that we saw in effect in Tokyo.