What You Need To Know Ahead Of The Winter Olympics

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Manage episode 319842092 series 2352736
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Let the games begin! ----------------------- transcript ----------------------- Only six months after the Summer Olympics, the Winter Olympics will kick off on Friday, February 4 and run through February 20. Look for a few events to take place before the Opening Ceremony on the 4th. There will be 3,000 athletes taking over Beijing and surrounding areas to compete in 15 sports in 109 medal events. Beijing is the first city to host both the Winter and Summer Olympics. Like the Summer Olympics, you will see families of the Olympians cheering from their couches just like the rest of us. Thanks to COVID, the only fans able to attend any of the events come from the host nation. One more reason to hit the couch (or throw a party), it's the first time the Super Bowl and the Olympics have run at the same time, and NBC will air both. Ad time is "nearly sold out" for both events, of which the Super Bowl is charging $6.5 million. According to NBC Universal, some sponsors support both events, namely streaming services. Athletes like snowboarders Shaun White and Chloe Kim will be returning to the Winter Games. White will be back for his fourth and final Olympics. Keep an eye on US speed skater Brittany Bowe who gave up her spot in the 500m race after her competitor, who was ranked No. 1, fell during the Olympic qualifier. Bowe will compete in the 1000m, 1500m and even the 500m after the US picked up an extra spot after some countries returned their quota spots for the event. For more on the Team USA athletes to follow, visit: https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/olympics/beijing/2022/01/28/team-usa-athletes-2022-winter-olympics-beijing/9075955002/ Artificial snow is a standard fixture at the Winter Olympics as host countries struggle to get enough natural snowfall to hold the event. Beijing will be the first host to rely entirely on artificial snow. For the first time in the history of the Games, they will also be using carbon dioxide in ice-making at four of their ice sports competition and training venues. By not using the traditional route of Freon, the new process will help reduce carbon emissions equal to 3,900 cars per year and cut emissions from ice-making to nearly zero. Organizers would have to plant about 1.2 million trees to achieve a similar carbon reduction. Athletes on Team USA have been encouraged to use burner phones in China due to cyber security and surveillance risks. Athletes have also been warned about speaking out about China's treatment of the Uyghurs and other Muslim minority groups. These human rights violations caused the US, Japan, Britain and Australia to declare a diplomatic boycott of the games, citing "genocide and crimes against humanity" in Xinjiang. (What does a diplomatic boycott mean?) Athletes were told to stay silent and that they could speak out upon returning home to ensure their safety. FYI: Beijing is 13 hours ahead of the Eastern Time Zone and 16 hours ahead of the Pacific Time Zone. An event that starts at 10:00 a.m. local time Monday will be at 9:00 p.m. EDT Sunday.

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