The Winter Olympics, the cold sibling of the Summer Games, is kicking off in Beijing tomorrow night. If it feels somewhat like the Games have crept up on us, it’s because they kind of have. Tokyo 2020 proved that an event of this scale and magnitude could be held during a pandemic, albeit without an audience, so there’s little dramatic build up there. Australia has since also been swamped under a wave of COVID which has drawn our attention elsewhere.
There’s also the fact that this year’s Games hang under a cloud of political controversy as six countries — including our own — have pulled out of the Games in diplomatic boycott of China’s human rights record and ongoing oppression of the Uyghur Muslim population.
Still, much like the Summer Games, the Winter Olympics are set to offer us some much needed distraction and entertainment just like their sunny forbearer did in 2021.
So, strap on your skis and pull out your curling brushes, here’s how you can enjoy the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics.
Where to Watch the Winter Olympics 2022
The Winter Olympics, like the Summer Olympics, is exclusively hosted on TV by individual platforms in different countries. Seven has the rights to the Olympics in Australia, which should come as no surprise considering they hosted the games on TV and streaming platforms last year as well.
Seven and 7Plus will be your go-to hub for all things Winter Olympics this year.
The channel is offering live streaming of all the events on their streaming app 7Plus which can be accessed online or through Apple TV and other TV streaming services.
Unlike Tokyo 2020 however, many Aussies wont be so lucky with the time zones, as Beijing is three hours behind Australia’s east coast — although on the same time zone as Perth. This means that those in Victoria and New South Wales may have to stay up to catch some of the later events.
When Do The Winter Olympics 2022 Start?
Just like the Summer Games, the Winter Olympics will kick off with an opening ceremony that is expected to last just two hours. This is much shorter than the four hour opening ceremony of Beijing 2008, due in part to the freezing temperatures, which won’t be getting much above zero.
The opening ceremony will feature fireworks, music, dancers, and singing performances. The parade of nations will be reduced in size this year because of the boycott as well as the COVID risk.
The opening ceremony begins at 11pm AEDT on Friday, 4 February. The event is being held in the same ‘Bird’s Nest’ stadium as the 2008 Beijing Games. Seven is hosting a countdown show from 9pm AEDT to build up the Olympics hype as well.
For those who want an early night, the opening ceremony will be re-streamed at 10am AEDT on Saturday 5 February.
Games and events will get underway from Saturday and run right through until the closing ceremony which will also start at 11pm on Sunday 20 February.