'Simple, safe and splendid': Your guide to the Beijing 2022 Opening Ceremony

Here's everything you need to know about the 4 February curtain-raiser to the 17-day spectacle known as the Olympic Winter Games.

By Shintaro Kano
Picture by 2022 Getty Images

It's time.

The Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 promises to be a spectacle, 14 years after the Summer Games were held in the Chinese capital.

The world will tune in as 91 National Olympic Committees parade through the National Stadium to baptise the 24th Winter Games.

But how much do you know about the ceremony?

Here are the ABCs to the must-see showpiece:

When is the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022?

The Opening Ceremony will start on Friday, 4 February, 20:00 (CST) at the National Stadium, also known as “The Bird’s Nest”.

The stadium also housed the Opening Ceremony for Beijing 2008.

What will the Opening Ceremony be like?

As with any Olympic Games, details of the Opening Ceremony will be under wraps until the festivities begin.

What we do know is that the Ceremony is expected to last around 100 minutes, accounting for the cold weather and the Covid pandemic.

The show will feature 3,000 performers, 95 per cent of which will be made up of teenagers.

Female skeleton athlete Zhao Dan and male speed skater Gao Tingyu are the Chinese delegation's flag-bearers.

Who is behind the Opening Ceremony?

Three-time Academy Award nominee Zhang Yimou, who directed the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the 2008 Games.

Zhang, 71, will be the first director to oversee both the Summer and Winter Games with Beijing being the first dual Olympic city ever.

Zhang also produced the handover ceremonies at Athens 2004 and PyeongChang 2018.

What is the concept?

The theme for 2008 was to showcase China and its 5,000-year history to the rest of the world. Zhang has said for 2022, things will be a lot different.

Beijing is trying to stage a “simple, safe and splendid” Games and the Opening Ceremony will fall in line with principles, Zhang said.

Watch Zhang speak about what he has in mind.

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