Beijing: The world's first dual Olympic city

By winning the host bid for the 2022 Winter Games in 2015, Beijing will become the first city in the world to host both the Summer and Winter Olympic Games. Olympics.com will guide you through all you need to know about the bonds that connect both Games.

6 min By Lingcheng Meng and Virgilio Neto
2008 Beijing Olympics: National Stadium during the Opening Ceremony
(Picture by Tim De Waele/Getty Images)

In 100 days time, Beijing will become the first city in the world to host both the Summer and Winter Olympic Games, making it the inaugural dual Olympic city. Having hosted the Summer Games in 2008, Beijing is now gearing up to host the Winter Games, which start 4 February 2022.

Beijing will, therefore, become the first city in history to hold the Games in two seasons, which differentiates from Athens (1896, 2004), Paris (1900, 1924 and set to be held in 2024), London (1908, 1948, 2012), Los Angeles (1932, 1984, and in 2028) and Tokyo (1964, 2020) who all hosted the Summer Games on more than one occasion.

Thirteen years ago, Beijing impressed the world with the outstanding delivery of the Summer Games which left numerous memorable moments not only for the audience but also the athletes, and the whole Olympic family.

Beijing 2008 left priceless legacies for the eastern giant, playing a big role in the development of sports afterwards and leaving legacies that are still being built on today in the preparation for the 2022 Winter Games.

From tangible elements such as sports facilities, the torch and mascot, to intangible elements including the motto and emblem, Olympics.com lists what connects Beijing 2008 and Beijing 2022 and brings them together.

Beijing_2008_torch_big (IOC)


Beijing 2008 Torch: Luck Cloud
Beijing 2022 Torch: Flying

The torch is perhaps one of the main connecting elements between the 2008 and 2022 Games. Not only in the physical and aesthetic similarities but in the proposal and idea of the torch itself, of continuity, sequence, legacy and the contribution of the People's Republic of China and Beijing for Olympism and for sport in general.

To honour Beijing’s status as the world’s first city to host both the Summer and Winter Olympics, the 2022 torch features a similar design to the 2008 Games’ main cauldron, which resembled a giant scroll, highlighting the Olympic spirit’s legacy in the Chinese capital.

The cloud patterns covering the handle of the torch also draw inspiration from the main visual element of the 2008 torch, according to the design team.

By using the same colour combination and by sharing similar artistic elements with the 2008 torch, the organising committee aims to extend auspicious greetings to the world as they did at the Summer Games and to showcase Beijing’s rich Olympic culture.

The Olympic fire of Beijing 2022 was lit on 18 October, 2021 in ancient Olympia, Greece – the "Flying" torch playing an important role in the handover ceremony the following day – and which will continue to take the Olympic fire to different areas of the People's Republic of China until the Opening Ceremony on 4 February.

Beijing_2008_mascot (IOC)


Beijing 2008 Mascots: Fuwa (x5)
Beijing 2022 Mascots: Bing Dwen Dwen

As well as the five mascots of 2008, the "Fuwa" (Beibei, Jingjing, Huanhuan, Yingying, Nini – putting them together means "Welcome to Beijing" in Chinese), the one for the Beijing 2022 Winter Games, Bing Dwen Dwen, also has a connection with the children's universe. The animal, which is considered the “national treasure” of China, the panda, becomes the protagonist again as it did 13 years ago when it played the role of Fuwa Jingjing.

As well as his friends of 2008, Bing Dwen Dwen connects with nature and seeks to transmit energy to athletes, not to mention embracing new technologies towards a shared future.


Beijing 2008 Emblem: "Dancing Beijing"
Beijing 2022 Emblem: "Winter Dream"

Both emblems suggest action and forward movement, in addition to the allusion to the place. In both we see elements referring to the host country, its capital and the surrounding mountains where the Winter Games competitions will be played, and the characteristics of the events (ice and snow).

In addition, both the 2008 and 2022 emblems symbolise the local culture, traditions and respect for ancestors. In short, knowledge and respect for history in order to move forward deep into the future.


Beijing 2008 motto: One World, One Dream
Beijing 2022 motto: Together for a Shared Future

A connection between the two mottos is perceived. Both have the idea of communion, sharing and the collective spirit.

The slogan of Beijing 2008 expresses China's views on the world and the determination and desire to work with people of all nations to create a harmonious and beautiful world.

The motto of Beijing 2022 goes further. It not only expresses China's views on the world, but also their attitude and strength, and puts forward their plan of action, which is, 'Together for a Shared Future'. This slogan is more passionate and more appealing, more impactful and more dynamic.

One World, One Dream, One Future. All connected.

National Aquatics Centre
National Aquatics Centre (Feng Li/Getty Images)


Finally, some of the venues that witnessed historic moments in Beijing 2008, such as Michael Phelps’ astonishing eight gold medals and Usain Bolt’s first Olympic golden performances with world record's broken too, will be reused for Beijing 2022.

The Olympic Stadium, the “Bird’s Nest”, will become the first venue to host opening and closing ceremonies for both the Summer and Winter Olympic Games. For Beijing 2008, it was also used for athletics competitions but this time, for Beijing 2022, it will be only used for the ceremonies.

The National Aquatics Centre, previously the “Water Cube”, was used for swimming, diving and artistic swimming events during Beijing 2008. For Beijing 2022, it has transformed into the “Ice Cube” and will host curling matches. This venue has also witnessed some important ceremonies ahead of the Winter Games, which start in February 2022: the official emblems and the torch designs of Beijing 2022 were unveiled here.

Besides the above-mentioned venues that were the new icons of Beijing after the 2008 Games, the National Indoor Stadium (trampoline and gymnastics in 2008, ice hockey in 2022), the Capital Indoor Stadium (volleyball in 2008, figure skating and short track in 2022), Wu Ke Song Sports Centre (basketball in 2008, ice hockey in 2022) are also reused venues, holding events at both of the Games, meeting the sustainability aim of the Beijing 2022 organising committee.

The newly constructed National Speed Skating Oval, the “Ice Ribbon”, has been constructed on the area where the temporary venues for archery and hockey were located in 2008. It is the world's first Winter Olympic venue using carbon dioxide transcritical direct cooling ice-making technology and will produce the largest ice surface in Asia with an area of 12,000 square meters. With the cutting-edge design and the colourful lights in the evening, the Ice Ribbon is destined to become a new landmark of Beijing after the Winter Games.

The field is set, spectacular moments are awaiting. Just 100 days to go!

For the latest Beijing 2022 news head here.

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