The opening ceremony of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics kicked off on Friday night, with the team from host nation China drawing roars from a crowd that included President Xi Jinping as it entered the partially filled Bird's Nest stadium.
The event, filled with imagery of snowflakes and ice, marked the culmination of Games preparations that were beset by the Covid-19 pandemic and criticism over human rights in China that led several countries to mount a diplomatic boycott.
Held on the first day of Spring by the Chinese calendar, it began with a performance by dancers waving glowing green stalks to convey the vitality of the season, followed by an explosion of white and green fireworks that spelled the word “Spring”.
On a three-dimensional cube resembling a block of ice, lasers carved imagery from each of the previous 23 Winter Games. The block was then “broken” by ice hockey players, enabling the Olympic rings to emerge, all in white.
That was followed by the traditional “parade of nations”, with each of the 91 delegations preceded by a women carrying a placard in the shape of a snowflake resembling a Chinese knot.
Header image: An overview of the delegation from France during the opening ceremony of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games on Feb 4. — AFP