Global sporting events always draw vast amounts of attention from a worldwide audience, hoping to catch a glimpse of talent that secures the highest sporting achievements out there – and nothing quite compares to the prestige on display at the Olympic Games.
The Winter Olympics is the colder cousin of the Olympic Games which take place during the summertime – the last being the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, after being delayed from 2020. With the climate that winter brings, it allows for an entirely different set of sports to be conducted for athletes who prefer to don their skis, snowboards, ice skates and more.
Based on a recent poll carried out on OpinionWorld Australia, around four out of every ten people asked actually preferred the Winter Olympic Games – with over half of all Australians asked saying they’d be tuning in for it. The 2022 Winter Olympics kicked off on Friday 4th February – and here’s everything you need to know to bring you up to speed on key details and the current Australian Olympic athletes to watch.
Where were the Winter Olympics 2022 held?
China hosted the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing – welcoming athletes from countries all over the world to its Olympic Village to compete in the Winter Games
The games were held in a variety of different venues around Beijing, some of which have been purpose built for this Winter Olympic Games 2022. This included the Beijing Zone – primarily for the ice sports, as well as the opening and closing ceremonies – the Yanqing Zone for alpine skiing and sliding events, and the Zhangjiakou Zone that’s home to a popular ski resort.
Will there be an opening ceremony for the winter Olympics?
Yes – in fact, it already took place on the 4th February to symbolise the start of the event. The XXIV Olympic Winter Games opened with a stunning display in the Beijing National Stadium, also known as the Bird’s Nest, with the theme of “One World, One Family”. You can relive the Olympics opening ceremony by watching the highlights here.
What sports are in the Winter Olympics 2022?
The Winter Olympics is divided up between 7 distinctly different sports, including:
- Ice hockey
Technically, there is also an eighth sport – snowboarding – but it is typically bundled in with the skiing category as the events share a number of similarities.
How many events are in the Winter Olympics 2022?
In total, there are 109 events taking place over the course of the Beijing Winter Olympics. Each of the sports contains a range of different disciplines which athletes can participate in, divided into the Men’s and Women’s categories.
For events which require teams to compete, there can also be categories for Doubles, Teams, Relay events, and iterations which require specific numbers of participants – such as the 2-man and 4-man bobsleigh events.
Which games will be introduced in the Winter Olympics?
There are a number of new events being introduced at the Winter Olympics Games for 2022, bringing in new Mixed sporting events and fresh disciplines for athletes to participate in:
- Women’s Monobob
- Freestyle Skiing – Big Air (Men’s and Women’s)
- Mixed Team Freestyle Skiing Aerials
- Mixed Team Ski Jumping
- Mixed Team Snowboard Cross
- Mixed Relay in Short Track Speed Skating
These 7 events were announced by the IOC back in July 2018 following the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. The Big Air Event will be taking place at Big Air Shougang in Shougang Park, built on the site of a former steel mill and the world’s first permanent venue for the Big Air event.
How many athletes competed in the Winter Olympics 2022?
This wide number of sports within the Winter Games means that many athletes from all over the world travel to compete – participants at the pinnacle of their sporting careers, veterans aiming to maintain their legacy, and rookies looking to prove themselves on the world stage.
From Dutch speed skater Irene Wüst, who has made history as the first Olympian to win a gold medal in 5 Olympic Games back-to-back, to 17-year-old Jordan Stolz who is part of the US speed skating team making his Olympic debut – there’s plenty of talent to keep you entertained across all the events and teams taking part.
How many people were on the Australian Olympic team for the Winter Olympics?
Australia’s Olympic team for the Winter Olympics is made up of 43 athletes – 21 male and 22 Australian female Olympic athletes.
Australian Olympic athletes to watch at the 2022 Winter Olympics
Scotty James – Men’s Snowboard Halfpipe
Having made his Olympic debut at just 15 back in the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics – the event’s youngest male competitor for 50 years – James stepped up for his fourth Winter Olympics at Beijing. His victory in 2018 saw him win the first Australian man to win an Olympic medal for snowboarding, and this year saw his routine take the silver – well worth a watch.
Breeana Walker – Women’s Monobob & 2-Woman Bobsleigh
Walker originally trained as a track athlete, having won a track and field college scholarship in the United States, before turning her skills to the bobsleigh. The Beijing Winter Olympics mark her Olympic debut after just six years of the sport, taking on both the Monobo and two-women bobsleigh events – a massive testament to her skill. As the first Australian to win a medal in a sliding event, a lot of attention will be heading her way.
Danielle Scott – Women’s Freestyle Skiing
Another athlete with a career change, Scott made the switch from gymnastics to aerial skiing after five-time Olympian Jacqui Cooper spotted her potential back in 2006. At just 13, Danielle showed the skills that Cooper believed would make her an ace aerial skier. Having scored the gold medal in Finland back in December at the World Cup event, it seems Cooper’s intuition was correct – Scott’s skills are something to behold.
These are just some of the Olympic athletes you might want to tune in for or rewatch their performances on demand. Figure skating, ski jumping and snowboarding were the top three sports preferred in our paid online survey of Australian Olympic enthusiasts – so be sure to catch up on all the action when you can. No matter how the Australian Olympic team places with medals, let’s give them all the support we can! If you’re interested in our future paid online surveys then you can create an account right here.