Beijing 2022 Opening Ceremony - Olympic cauldron lighting ends spectacular show 

Dinigeer Yilamujiang and Zhao Jiawen lit the cauldron brought an awe-inspiring Olympic Winter Games Opening Ceremony to a close.

By Danny Lewis
Picture by 2022 Getty Images

The Beijing 2022 Opening Ceremony on Friday (4 February) culminated in the lighting of the Olympic Cauldron.

Inside the National Stadium, aka the Bird's Nest, the final torchbearers each represented a decade of birth from the 1950s and carried the first micro-flame used to light an Olympic cauldron.

Zhao Weichang, Li Yan, Yang Yang, sprinter Su Bingtian, and short track Olympic champion Zhou Yang were the torchbearers before the final reveal.

Representing the 2000s, the last two torchbearers were Dinigeer Yilamujiang and Zhao Jiawen.

As the pair approached the cauldron, a spotlight shone on it and they were lifted up onto the platform.

Having waved to the crowd, they put the torch in place and the cauldron, made out of snowflakes featuring the names of the 91 competing nations, lit up followed by the choir breaking into song.

The Olympic Winter Games are officially open with fireworks marking the end of proceedings.

The carrying of the Olympic Flame to a host city through a Torch Relay is a tradition stretching all the way back to 1936.

The pandemic meant the relay was shortened to three days with Yao Ming, movie star Jackie Chan and five-time Olympic table tennis gold medallist Ma Long among the torchbearers.

In 1952, Eigil Nansen, the grandson of polar explorer Fridtjof Nansen, became the first person to light the cauldron at an Olympic Winter Games – as well as being the first non-athlete to have the honour.

Beijing is the first city to host a Summer and Winter Games with the Bird's Nest hosting the Opening Ceremony just as it did for Beijing 2008.

On that occasion, legendary artistic gymnast Li Ning lit the cauldron, having previously won six Olympic medals including three golds in 1984.

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