The dramatic and unprecedented Tokyo Olympics ended this past weekend. And in less than six months, another round of Olympic Games will begin in Beijing, China — the 2022 Winter Games, per CNN.

  • The Beijing Winter Olympics will run from Feb. 4 to Feb. 20, per The Washington Post.
  • Beijing is poised to become the first city to host both the Summer and Winter Olympics, reported CNN.
  • The city previously hosted the 2008 Summer Olympics, per The Wall Street Journal.

After the controversy of the Tokyo Olympics and the unprecedented COVID-19 restrictions, many questions surround the upcoming Beijing Olympics, reported The New York Times. Here’s an early look at the 2022 Winter Games.

Will the Beijing Olympic Games happen?

At this point, neither the International Olympic Committee nor Beijing officials have indicated that they plan to delay or postpone the Winter Games. Rather, the success of the Tokyo Olympics has encouraged organizers, reported CNN.

  • With planning and safety restrictions, holding an international sports event is “completely feasible,” said Jin Dongyan, a virologist at the University of Hong Kong, per CNN.
  • With less than six months till the opening ceremony, this will be the shortest turnaround ever between Games, reported The Washington Post.

Beijing plans to reuse multiple stadiums from the 2008 Summer Games and has already completed construction on new major stadiums needed for the Winter Games, reported The Washington Post.

  • For the first time ever, the Olympics will overlap with the NFL Super Bowl which is scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 13, per The Washington Post. NBC plans to pause Olympics programming during this time.

Rather, discussions about the Beijing Games have revolved less around questions of “if” the Games will happen and more around questions of “how” the Games will happen, per The New York Times.

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What will the COVID-19 restrictions be like?

The full details about COVID-19 safety measures at the Beijing Olympics are still developing. Based on the initial announcement, Beijing is likely to use a similar “bubble” strategy to keep Olympic participants separated from the public and curb COVID-19 spread, per The New York Times. However, Beijing’s Olympic “bubble” seems much stricter.

  • “Most (officials) appeared to believe that the unprecedented restrictions they had seen in Tokyo would be almost nothing by comparison,” reported The New York Times.
  • China has implemented and followed a strict zero-tolerance policy for responding to COVID-19 — a policy that may extend to the Games, per The New York Times.

Officials have not announced spectator allowances or restrictions, quarantine requirements or possible vaccination requirements, per The New York Times. They have announced plans to keep athletes, referees, journalists and spectators separate.

  • Even Chinese staff working the Games will be required to live in the Olympic bubble. Comparatively, Japanese staff at the Tokyo Games could return home, reported The New York Times.
  • After the Beijing Games, these staff will “reenter” Chinese society only after a “lengthy quarantine,” per The New York Times.
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What is the controversy over the Beijing Olympics?

Unlike the domestic disputes of the Tokyo Games, the controversy of the Beijing Olympics stems from international disputes, per The Wall Street Journal.

  • Since winning the bid to host the Olympics back in 2015, “​​Beijing’s victory was controversial because of China’s climate and because of the country’s human rights record,” reported The Washington Post.
  • “The U.S. government has accused China of genocide for its treatment of Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang and for cracking down on democracy advocates in Hong Kong,” per The Washington Post.
  • Some have even called for a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Games for these reasons, reported CNN.
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