Beijing 2022: A closer look at every venue and Olympic village for the Winter Games

By Will Imbo
Picture by 2008 Getty Images

On February 4 2022, the Olympic cauldron will be ignited, signalling the start of Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022. The events of the Games will take place in a combination of brand new structures and existing venues.

With Beijing being in the unique position as the first city to host both Summer and Winter editions of the Olympics, several venues from the 2008 Summer Olympics will be reused for the 2022 Winter Olympics as part of the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIV Olympiad's (BOCOG) Sustainability Plan.

The venues for the Winter Games in 2022 have been divided into three zones, or clusters: Beijing, Yanqing, and Zhangjiakou. Here, we take a more detailed look at every competition venue for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, as well as the Olympic Villages that the athletes will call home during their stay in China.

Beijing zone

Located in central Beijing, this cluster will primarily stage the ice sports of the Winter Olympics, as well as the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Games.

The National Stadium

2008 Beijing Olympics: National Stadium during the Opening Ceremony
Picture by Tim De Waele/Getty Images
  • Events/Competitions: Opening and Closing Ceremonies
  • Beijing 2008 Legacy Venue

Also known as "The Bird's Nest" due to its unique design, this iconic stadium hosted the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, as well as the athletics competition and men's football final of the Summer Games.

While no sporting competitions will take place at the venue during the 2022 Winter Olympics, the Bird's Nest will once again be the site of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Games.

National Aquatics Centre

  • Events/Competitions: Curling / Wheelchair Curling (Paralympic Winter Games)
  • Beijing 2008 Legacy Venue

Another iconic venue from the 2008 Games that will be repurposed for 2022 is the National Aquatics Centre. The venue hosted the swimming, diving, and synchronized swimming competitions in 2008 which, in combination with its box-like design, earned it the moniker, "The Water Cube".

For the Winter Olympics, the Water Cube has been transformed into the "Ice Cube" in preparation for the curling competition.

Following the 2022 Games, the multi-purpose venue will continue to be used for both winter and summer sports, switching between the two depending on the season.

National Indoor Stadium

National Indoor Stadium, Beijing
Picture by Adam Pretty/Getty Images
  • Events/Competitions: Ice Hockey / Ice Sleigh Hockey (Paralympic Winter Games)
  • Beijing 2008 Legacy Venue

Nicknamed "The Fan" due to its design that resembles a traditional Chinese folding fan, the National Indoor Stadium was built for the 2008 Summer Olympics, where it hosted rhythmic gymnastics, trampoline, and handball.

In 2015 it hosted the ice hockey women's world championship, and it will share hosting duties for the ice hockey competition at the 2022 Olympics with Wukesong Sports Centre.

Wukesong Sports Centre

  • Events/Competitions: Ice Hockey
  • Beijing 2008 Legacy Venue

After staging the basketball tournament at the 2008 Olympics, the Wukesong Sports Centre has successfully been used as a multipurpose arena in the years since. With a capacity of 18,000 spectators, it will serve as the main indoor venue for ice hockey at the 2022 Winter Games alongside the National Indoor Stadium.

National Speed Skating Oval

The National Speed Skating Oval, Beijing
Picture by © 2021 / International Olympic Committee (IOC) / WONG, Emmanuel (photographe COJO Beijing 22)
  • Events/Competitions: Speed Skating

The National Speed Skating Oval is the only new venue built on Beijing's Olympic Green (the Olympic Park constructed for the 2008 Games) for the Winter Olympics. The stadium was built on the site of the Olympic Green Hockey Field used for field hockey event and the Olympic Green Archery Field used for the archery event at the 2008 Olympics.

Unsurprisingly, the National Speed Skating Oval - bearing the nickname "The Ice Ribbon" - will host the speed skating competition at Beijing 2022.

Capital Indoor Stadium

Capital Indoor Stadium
Picture by 2021 Getty Images
  • Events/Competitions: Short Track Speed Skating, Figure Skating
  • Beijing 2008 Legacy Venue

After hosting the volleyball tournament at the 2008 Summer Olympics, the Capital Indoor Stadium will stage the figure skating and short track speed skating competitions during the Winter Olympics.

The arena, built in 1968, has staged several important sporting events, including the table tennis matches between China and the United States as part of the ping pong diplomacy exchange program in 1971, and one of the first NBA games in China in 2004.

Big Air Shougang

Big Air Shougang is lit up at Shougang Park (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)
Picture by 2019 Getty Images
  • Events/Competitions: Freestyle Skiing Big Air, Snowboard Big Air

Arguably the most unique venue of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics is Big Air Shougang, which has been built on a former steel mill site, set against the backdrop of four industrial cooling towers.

It is the world's first permanent venue for Big Air, and will stage the freestyle skiing and snowboard Big Air competitions at the Games. Following the Winter Olympics, the venue will be used for various sports competitions and athlete training, as well as cultural and civic events.

Beijing Olympic Village

Athlete accommodations at the Olympic Village in the Beijing zone.
Picture by © 2021 / International Olympic Committee (IOC) / WONG, Emmanuel (photographe COJO Beijing 22)

The Winter Olympic village for the Beijing zone of the Games is due to be completed by June 2021, and will predominantly house athletes competing in the ice sports at Beijing 2022. The Village facilities will include 2,300 beds for athletes and officials travelling to the Winter Olympics.

Following the conclusion of the Winter Olympics and Paralympics, the health and intelligence-themed village will become public housing open for rent.

Yanqing zone

Located 75 kilometres northwest of Beijing's city centre, Yanqing is a mountainous suburb of China's capital filled with hot springs, national parks, ski resorts, and the Badaling section of the Great Wall of China. Yanqing's Olympic venues will stage the alpine skiing events as well as the sliding events: bobsled, luge, and skeleton.

National Sliding Centre

  • Events/Competitions: Bobsleigh, Skeleton, Luge

The National Sliding Centre in Yanqing is the first sliding track in China and only the third in Asia. The centre offers a seating capacity of 2,000, as well as a further 8,000 standing capacity.

Following the conclusion of the Winter Olympics, the centre will be used to host international competitions, as well as a training venue for the Chinese national team.

National Alpine Ski Centre

Beijing 2022 National Alpine Ski Center (Photo by: Kevin Frayer/Getty Images).
Picture by 2020 Getty Images
  • Events/Competitions: Alpine Skiing / Para Alpine Skiing (Paralympic Winter Games)

Situated in the Xiaohaituo Mountain Area in northwest Yanqing, the National Alpine Ski Centre is made up of seven courses, with the largest vertical drop reaching 900 meters.

The venue - which will continue to be used for international competitions and athlete training following the Winter Olympics - has a seating capacity of 5,000 and a standing capacity of 3,500 for spectators.

Yanqing Olympic Village

Athlete accommodation at the Yanqing Olympic Village 
Picture by © 2021 / International Olympic Committee (IOC) / WONG, Emmanuel (photographe COJO Beijing 22)

The Yanqing Winter Olympic Village is designed according to the cultural characteristics of mountain villages in northern China, highlighting the characteristics of Chinese culture and environmental protection, as well as the athlete-centred design concept. The site will accommodate 1,430 athletes and team officials during the Winter Olympics and Paralympics.

Zhangjiakou zone

Zhangjiakou is a popular Chinese ski destination approximately 180 kilometres northwest of Beijing. The newly constructed Beijing-Zhangjiakou intercity railway will transfer guests between all three venue clusters for the Winter Olympics in just one hour. Zhangjiakou's venues will stage the majority of the ski and snowboarding events at the 2022 Winter Games, including freestyle, cross-country, ski jumping, Nordic combined, and biathlon.

National Biathlon Centre

  • Events/Competitions: Biathlon / Para Biathlon & Para Cross-Country Skiing (Paralympic Winter Games)

The National Biathlon Centre, located in Zhangjiakou City in north China's Hebei Province, will stage the biathlon competition.

Following the Games, the centre will be used by the Chinese national team for training, and as a tourist resort.

National Ski Jumping Centre

  • Events/Competitions: Ski Jumping, Nordic Combined (Ski Jumping)

The National Ski Jumping Centre will stage the ski jumping competition and the ski jumping discipline in the Nordic combined competition at Beijing 2022.

The architectural design of the ski jump resembles a traditional ruyi sceptre (a Chinese talisman), hence the nickname for the facility: "Snow Ruyi".

Following the Winter Olympics, Snow Ruyi will be used by the Chinese national team for training and as a tourist resort.

National Cross-Country Centre

  • Events/Competitions: Cross-Country, Nordic Combined (Cross-Country)

The new National Cross-Country Centre will host cross-country and Nordic combined events at the Winter Olympics.

After the Games, the area will be rebuilt into a park area and outdoor ice centre to host camping, sports and events.

Genting Snow Park

  • Events/Competitions: Freestyle Skiing, Snowboarding / Para snowboarding (Paralympic Winter Games)

The Genting Snow Park is an existing ski resort and will be the home of freestyle skiing and snowboarding events (apart from Big Air) during Beijing 2022.

The park will have two separate venues - Park A, for freestyle skiing, and Park B, for snowboarding - each with the capacity to hold 7,500 spectators. The parks will feature six courses in total: halfpipe, slopestyle, ski/snowboard cross, parallel giant slalom, moguls and aerials.

Zhangjiakou Olympic Village

The Olympic Village in Zhangjiakou will accommodate 2,640 athletes and team officials during the Winter Olympics and Paralympics. The site will be transformed into a business cluster following the conclusion of the Games.

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