Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony 2022 Schedule

2022 Beijing Olympics

Getty The 2022 Winter Olympics are in Beijing.

Ninety-one countries have sent their best winter athletes to the XXIV Olympic Winter Games in Beijing, China. For more than two weeks, they will compete in winter sports including figure and speed skating, bobsledding, skiing, snowboarding, ice hockey, curling and more.

But first, the games have to officially kick off with the Opening Ceremony on Friday, February 4, 2022. When and where will it air? What happens during the ceremony? What other coverage is there?

Here’s what you need to know:


The Opening Ceremony Will Be Aired Twice

Since China is 13 hours ahead of the Eastern Time Zone, the Opening Ceremony will air twice, according to NBC Sports.

The two-and-a-half-hour live broadcast will air from 6:30 a.m. through 9 a.m. Eastern time on NBC. NBC Sports reported it will be NBCUniversal’s “first-ever live morning presentation of a Winter Games Opening Ceremony.”

A three-hour enhanced primetime presentation will air from 8 p.m. through 11 p.m. Eastern time. NBC Sports reported it will have “a special focus on the athletes of Team USA in addition to the traditional performances, pageantry, and Parade of Nations.”


What Happens During the Opening Ceremony

The Opening Ceremony of the 2022 Winter Games will take place in Beijing’s National Stadium, also known as the Bird’s Nest. The venue was previously home to the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the 2008 Summer Olympics also hosted in Beijing.

After directing the 2008 Opening Ceremony, Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yimou returns to spearhead what the Washington Post reported is a “simpler affair” featuring about 3,000 performers. The publication also reported the event’s themes will reflect today’s world.

He said, “In 2008, the Olympics was a brilliant stage and chance for our country to show ourselves. It’s different now. China’s status in the world, the image of the Chinese, and the rise of our national status, everything is totally different now.”

The Chief Executive of Olympic Broadcasting Services, Yiannis Exarchos, saw the dress rehearsals according to InsidetheGames.biz.

“Obviously I will not say what is in the Opening Ceremony because I don’t want to spoil the experience for any of you,” the publication reported him saying in January. “What I can tell you is it is a ceremony which is probably equally impressive as the one in 2008 which we know is one of the most iconic Opening Ceremonies in the history of the Olympic Games.”

He added. “It’s equally impressive, equally moving but completely different and it reflects our times.”

The Opening Ceremony will also include “the usual formalities as dictated by the International Olympic Committee,” reported the Washington Post. Those formalities include speeches, the parade of nations and the lighting of the Olympic flame.

The U.S. will enter the parade of nations in the 55th position out of 87, sandwiched between the Russian Olympic Committee athletes and Thailand. As customary for each country, there will be one male and one female flag bearer. This year, that honor goes to women’s speedskater Brittany Bowe and men’s curler John Shuster.

While who lights the Olympic flame remains unknown, according to InsidetheGames.biz, Zhang teased it will be done in a way “unprecedented in over 100 years of the Olympic Games.”


NBC Will Coverage of the Opening Ceremony Throughout February 4, 2022

NBC will have coverage of the XXIV Olympic Winter Games’ Opening Ceremony spread throughout Friday, February 4, 2022. It will kick off with a live broadcast of the event at 6:30 a.m. Eastern time, according to NBC Sports.

The publication provided the following breakdown of NBCUniversal’s Coverage:

  • 6:30 a.m. – 9 a.m. Eastern time: “Opening Ceremony LIVE” will broadcast the approximately 100-minute ceremony, according to the Washington Post.
  • 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Eastern time: “Today” will air a special edition, “featuring reaction to the Opening Ceremony and athlete interviews,” reported NBC Sports.
  • 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Eastern time: The “NBC Preview Show – Winter Olympics” will “review highlights of the Opening Ceremony and look ahead to the biggest storylines of the Winter Olympics with its first-ever daytime show,” according to NBC Sports.
  • 8:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. Eastern time: “2022 Winter Olympics – Opening Ceremony” will air as an enhanced primetime presentation of the event.

The 2022 Winter Olympic Games & Its Opening Ceremony Will Also Stream on Peacock & NBCOlympics.com

NBC is the official broadcast partner of the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing, covering the games from February 3, 2022, through its Closing Ceremony on Sunday, February 20, 2022.

The Opening Ceremony will also stream on Peacock, NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports app.

READ NEXT: How Long Is the Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony 2022?

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