The 2022 Winter Olympics officially kick off Feb. 4 with a show-stopping Opening Ceremony at National Stadium—aka “The Bird’s Nest”—in Beijing, China. Once again, the 80,000-seat arena, which previously hosted the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the 2008 Summer Olympics, will see athletes from across the globe gather to march in the Parade of Nations.
Delegates from over 90 countries and territories are set to part in the procession this year. In keeping with tradition, Greece will be the first to enter the stadium in honor of the Olympics’ heritage, while flag bearers from China round off the parade to represent the host country.
The Beijing Games: What are the expectations of fans? Although this year’s Olympics will be similar to the 2020 Tokyo Games, in that in-person crowds will be scaled down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there will be a total of 109 medal events—including seven new competitions such as women’s monobob, men’s and women’s big-air in freestyle skiing and mixed team short track relay in speedskating.