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Anticipation Mounts for Beijing 2022 Opening Ceremony

INTERNATIONAL: Excitement mounts for Beijing 2022 Opening Ceremony as Director Zhang Yimou promises more surprises. Beijing’s "Birds Nest" becomes the first stadium in history to host a Summer and Winter Olympic Opening Ceremony. The Grand Opening Ceremony will be at 8PM, Friday , 4 February, China time. With some Royals gracing the grand event, including the King of Cambodia,His Royal Highness King Norodom Sihamoni.

The Games will run from February 4 to February 20 , with about 3,000 athletes. There will be a total of 109 medal events across the following 15 sports. Alpine Skiing; Biathlon; Bobsled; Cross-Country Skiing; Curling;Figure Skating; Freestyle Skiing; Hockey;Luge;Nordic Combined;Short Track;Skeleton;Ski Jumping;Snowboarding;Speed Skating.

This is the second Olympics to be hosted during the pandemic but this time athletes are confined to a "closed loop" far stricter than Tokyo 2020's bubble.

The spectacular in 2008 set a sky high standard for every future host city to follow.There is one constant factor in the Ceremonies then and now. Ceremony director Zhang Yimou has been the mastermind behind both.

He carried the Olympic Torch yesterday, but has promised the Flame will be lit in "unprecedented" fashion at the end of the event in the National Stadium, designed and built for Beijing 2008 is officially known.

That moment at the climax of the Ceremony tonight will bring back memories for Canadian Chef de Mission Catriona Le May Doan, who lit the Cauldron with four other sporting legends at the Opening Ceremony of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver.

"I was at four Opening Ceremonies and as an athlete it was very impactful," Le May Doan said this week.“"It was at that moment that you understand the power of the Flame.You see people in the street watching the Flame in such awe, hope and wonder."

The identity of the Cauldron lighter or lighters tonight is a closely guarded secret.

In 2008, the revered Chinese gymnast Li Ning, a triple Olympic gold medallist, soared through the air to light a Cauldron set on the roof of the Stadium.

There will be no repetition of that because the Cauldron is now to be found at ground level in front of the "Birds Nest" on the giant park known as the "Olympic Green".

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