Beijing Olympic Games officially kick off

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Chinese President Xi Jinping has formally opened the 2022 Winter Olympic Games at a grandiose ceremony in Beijing attended by world leaders including Russia’s Vladimir Putin.

The opening ceremony at Beijing’s National Stadium – known as the Bird’s Nest for its distinctive design – drew on themes of “peace” and “a brighter future” as President Xi officially opened the 24th edition of the Winter Games.

Beijing is the first city ever to host both the summer and winter versions of the Olympics, having held the former back in 2008.

On that occasion China dazzled the world with a spellbinding opening ceremony which showcased its increasing confidence and influence.

Friday’s show in Beijing was pared back due to the shadow of Covid and took place in frigid conditions, but was nonetheless impressive in its visual brilliance.

RT

The ceremony centered on the Beijing Games’ slogan of “together for a shared future” and the International Olympic Committee’s updated motto of “faster, higher, stronger – together.”

Directed by the renowned Zhang Yimou, who was also at the helm for the 2008 opening and closing ceremonies, the spectacle featured around 3,000 performers, the vast majority of whom were teenagers.

After dignitaries including Chinese leader Xi and IOC president Thomas Bach had been welcomed to their seats, the start of the ceremony focused on giant digital displays spread across the floor in the center of the stadium in which participants waved giant LED sticks.

An early flurry of fireworks exploded into the Beijing night sky before the Chinese flag was brought into the arena and proudly being hoisted to the strains of the national anthem.

RT