Beijing Olympics: What to know about the 2022 Winter Games

Beijing will be first city to host Summer and Winter Games

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The Beijing Winter Olympics have begun just a few months after the Summer Olympics ended in Tokyo.

The Winter Games will be held in China for the first time. The previous Games had been held in Pyeongchang, South Korea, in 2018 and Sochi, Russia, in 2014. Beijing is set to be the first city to host the Winter and Summer Olympics.

In 2018, Norway finished with the most medals (39). Norway also tied for the most goals with Germany at 14. The U.S. finished with nine gold, eight silver and six bronze medals for a grand total of 23. The U.S. finished fourth overall in gold medal and total medal tallies.

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As the nations get set to gather in China, there are many obstacles everyone will have to face. Read below for more.

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How to watch

Medical personnel stand ready for activity during a scheduled speedskating practice session inside at the National Speed Skating Oval the 2022 Winter Olympics, Thursday, Jan. 27, 2022, in Beijing.

Medical personnel stand ready for activity during a scheduled speedskating practice session inside at the National Speed Skating Oval the 2022 Winter Olympics, Thursday, Jan. 27, 2022, in Beijing. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Fans can watch the Olympics on NBC and on NBC’s Peacock app. It will be an historic moment for the company as it broadcasts both the Winter Olympics and the Super Bowl in the same month.

However, coverage could be a bit lacking. NBC said it wouldn't be sending a whole host of announcers for the Olympics and will mostly work out of its Connecticut studios. Mike Tirico is set to be in Beijing.

"Something significant has changed virtually every day for the last three months, forcing us to adjust our plan numerous times. And I expect that to continue as well as the challenge of doing the Olympics," head of NBC’s Olympics production unit Molly Solomon said earlier this month, via Boston.com.

"With COVID’s changing conditions and China’s zero-tolerance policy, it’s just added a layer of complexity to all of this, so we need to make sure we can provide the same quality experience to the American viewers. That’s why we are split between the two cities."

Dates

A snowboarder catches air while training on the half pipe ahead of the 2022 Winter Olympics, Thursday, Jan. 27, 2022, in Zhangjiakou, China.

A snowboarder catches air while training on the half pipe ahead of the 2022 Winter Olympics, Thursday, Jan. 27, 2022, in Zhangjiakou, China. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Competitions will begin on Wednesday, Feb. 2 with the start of the curling events. The Olympics’ opening ceremonies begin on Friday, Feb. 4. Medals will start being awarded in various competitions on Saturday, Feb. 5.

US flag bearers

Olympic bobsledder Elana Meyers Taylor and curler John Shuster were named the flag bearers for Team USA. However, Meyers Taylor will be unable to attend the opening ceremonies because she tested positive for COVID-19. Speed skater Brittany Bowe will replace Meyers Taylor.

Who is on Team USA?

The United States' Mikaela Shiffrin smiles as she gets to the finish area after completing an alpine ski, women's World Cup super-G, in Bansko, Bulgaria, Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020.

The United States' Mikaela Shiffrin smiles as she gets to the finish area after completing an alpine ski, women's World Cup super-G, in Bansko, Bulgaria, Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020. (AP Photo/Pier Marco Tacca)

The U.S. will send over a roster filled with previous medalists. The experienced team includes Shaun White, Mikaela Shiffrin, Nathan Chen, Hilary Knight, Chloe Kim and others. Click here to view the full roster.

How many nations are competing?

There will be 91 countries and more than 2,800 athletes competing in 109 events in seven sports during the Winter Games. Some countries will not be sending diplomatic dignitaries for the Games over various issues with the Chinese government. Australian, Belgium, Britain, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Kosovo, Lithuania, Taiwan and the U.S. were among the countries doing diplomatic boycotts.

BEIJING OLYMPICS: WHO IS REPRESENTING TEAM USA

Coronavirus

The coronavirus is still at the forefront of the Games, and China is implementing stricter policies regarding the virus in hopes of stopping any kind of spread.

Anybody going to the Olympics – athletes, team personnel and media – will need to be vaccinated and have two negative tests before heading to China and will be tested at the airport upon arrival. During the Games, everyone will get daily throat swabs for PCR tests with results coming back within a day.

If someone is positive with symptoms, they will go directly to the hospital. Those without symptoms will be placed in a dedicated hotel for isolation. In either case, the athlete would not be able to participate until getting cleared for discharge. To be discharged, an athlete would need multiple negative tests. Organizers said those with low-level traces of the virus will face a shorter isolation period.

Odd rules

There will be limited attendance for those at the Beijing Olympics. Tickets are limited to a "selected" number of spectators from mainland China instead of the general public due to coronavirus concerns.

As far as cheering goes, fans who do attend are being asked to clap for their countries and athletes instead of chanting and cheering – similar to what Tokyo organizers did in in the summer.

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Protests

Chinese President Xi Jinping stands in front of national flags of China and Republic of Congo during a meeting with visiting Congolese dignitaries at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, Tuesday, July 5, 2016.

Chinese President Xi Jinping stands in front of national flags of China and Republic of Congo during a meeting with visiting Congolese dignitaries at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, Tuesday, July 5, 2016. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, Pool, File)

China has warned foreign athletes they may face punishment for speech that is "against the Olympic spirit" following a similar warning from human rights activists who worry about public freedoms during the games. 

"Any expression that is in line with the Olympic spirit I’m sure will be protected," said Yang Shu, deputy director general of international relations for the Beijing Organizing Committee (BOC).

American athletes created a firestorm in the Summer Games with political protests in Tokyo. The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) altered its rules in order for U.S. athletes to protest without facing consequences back home. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) allows for protests before the start of events and before athletes reach the medal stand.

Fox News’ Peter Aitken and the Associated Press contributed to this report.