Beijing 2022 officially gets underway Friday with opening ceremony | CBC Sports

The Olympic Winter Games are set to officially get underway Friday with an opening ceremony that follows less than six months after the Tokyo Olympic Games — which were delayed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic — closed. 

The ceremony will begin at 8 p.m. local time (7 a.m. ET), and there are many ways to watch whether you’re at home, at work or on the go.

Viewers can watch the show beginning at 6:30 a.m. ET via the live stream above, or the special live streams below, or on CBCSports.ca, the CBC Sports app and CBC Gem.

Described video: 

(DV) Opening Ceremony for the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022

The Opening Ceremony kicking off the 2022 Olympics in Beijing presented with Described Video. 0:00

American Sign Language:

(ASL) Opening Ceremony for the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022

The Opening Ceremony kicking off the 2022 Olympics in Beijing presented with American Sign Language. 0:00

Eastern Cree:

(Eastern Cree) Opening Ceremony for the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022

The Opening Ceremony kicking off the 2022 Olympics in Beijing, presented in Eastern Cree. 0:00

Canada’s flag-bearers, Charles Hamelin and Marie-Philip Poulin, will lead Team Canada into the 80,000-seat National Stadium — known as the “Bird’s Nest” for its unique web of 35 kilometres of twisting steel — 27th out of more than 90 countries that have sent teams to the Games. 

The Canadian Olympic Committee announced the selection of Poulin and Hamelin on Wednesday, the day competition began with the opening round of the mixed curling round robin tournament.

WATCH | Canada’s flag-bearers discuss life in the Athlete’s Village with tight COVID-19 restrictions:

How have COVID-19 restrictions affected athletes at Beijing 2022?

Team Canada’s flag-bearers Charles Hamelin and Marie-Philip Poulin respond to a question about the Beijing 2022 experience in the athlete’s village, with tight restrictions around COVID-19. 1:10

Team Canada is fielding 215 athletes — third-most for a Winter Olympics and the most athletes who identify as female, with 106 — at Beijing 2022, which runs until Feb. 20.

Beijing is the first city to host both a Summer and Winter Olympics, and has incorporated some of the venues from the 2008 Summer Games.

International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach said that, as of Thursday, some 2,740 athletes from around the world are in Beijing for the Games. As with the Olympic Summer Games in Tokyo last year, there will be no members of the public in the stadium for the opening ceremony — just select dignitaries.

The Beijing Games are being run with strict COVID-19-prevention protocols, including what’s being called a “closed loop” system, in which athletes, media and other officials confined to a bubble, away from the public.

In the lead up to the Games, a number of countries — including Canada — announced diplomatic boycotts in protest of human rights abuses in China, particularly reports of forced labour of Uyghur workers.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, an ally of China, is one of the few foreign leaders at the opening ceremony despite growing international concern about a potential Russian invasion of Ukraine.

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