Beijing 2022 competition opens with mixed curling in a legacy venue


02 Feb 2022 – Sport is now underway at Beijing 2022 with the start of competition in an iconic venue from the Olympic Games Beijing 2008.

Four groups of mixed gender curling teams stepped onto the ice tonight in the same building where Michael Phelps won a record eight gold medals in swimming. The venue, then known as the Water Cube, has been transformed into a showcase for curling, with a new name to match: the Ice Cube.

The Ice Cube is one of five legacy venues from the Olympic Games Beijing 2008 that will be reused or repurposed for Beijing 2022. On Wednesday night, the Beijing National Stadium, better known as the Bird’s Nest, will mark the official start of Beijing 2022 by reprising its 2008 role as host of the Opening Ceremony. The Chinese capital is the first city to host both summer and winter editions of the Games.

The early competition at Beijing 2022 featured preliminary contests between teams from Sweden and Great Britain, Australia and the United States, Norway and the Czech Republic, and China and Switzerland. The gold medal match is set for 8 February.

Four years after mixed curling made its debut at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, four additional mixed gender disciplines will join the Olympic programme in Beijing: mixed team snowboard cross, mixed team aerials, mixed team short track relay, and mixed team ski jumping. Those additions and the debut of women’s mono-bob will help make Beijing 2022 the most gender-balanced Olympic Winter Games.

Women will comprise 44 per cent of the competitors in Beijing, up from 41 per cent four years ago. The other new sport at Beijing 2022, big air freestyle skiing, will include both men’s and women’s competition.

Beijing 2022 has already encouraged more than 300 million people to engage with winter sport.

United States steals late win in mixed doubles curling opener | Winter Olympics 2022 | NBC Sports