While there are countdowns in effect until the holiday season and the start of 2022, Wednesday represented an important mile marker in another notable countdown.
It’s now 100 days until the start of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.
Beijing, by the way, is set to make history by becoming the first city to host both a Summer and Winter Olympics. Beijing hosted the Summer Games in 2008.
With that in mind, here are three questions heading into the final 100 days before the Opening Ceremony on Feb. 4.
What is the current COVID situation in the area?
It won’t be enough to threaten a postponement or cancellation of the Games, but there is a widening outbreak that’s of concern to Chinese officials at the moment.
Just last week, more than 100 new cases were reported over 11 provinces, according to CNN, which doesn’t seem like a lot compared to other countries. But it’s an increase that has put officials on alert, with Beijing imposing restrictions on entering the city. Travelers from places with confirmed cases must present a negative test and undergo 14 days of health monitoring.
China obviously doesn’t want to take any chances of an outbreak in the weeks leading up to the Games.
Unlike the Tokyo Games this past summer, local fans will be allowed to attend certain events around Beijing. Fans from other countries will not be allowed to attend, however.
Athletes and other officials helping with the Games will be subjected to daily testing and be held in bubbles. Those who are vaccinated won’t have to be quarantined, while those not fully vaccinated will have to spend 21 days in quarantine upon arrival.
Why have there been calls from some countries to boycott the Games?
Some activists and lawmakers from the U.S. and Europe have been critical of China’s human rights record and have suggested their countries boycott the Games in protest.
Those activists don’t like China’s treatment of the Uyghur population and other Muslim minority groups, according to Reuters.
United Nations rights experts have said at least one million Muslims have been detained in camps in Xinjiang since 2017, but China has denied any wrongdoing and allegations of mistreatment.
Will there be venues reused from the 2008 Summer Games?
Yes, there will be a few, most notably the “Bird’s Nest.” Do you remember that stadium from the 2008 Games?
It is the main national stadium that, from the outside, has an architectural design that makes it look like a bird’s nest. It will be back in the world’s spotlight again as the host of the opening and closing ceremonies.
Another notable venue was the “Water Cube,” which in 2008 hosted the aquatics events. For the Winter Games, it will host curling.
The National Indoor Stadium, which hosted gymnastics, trampolining and handball events in 2008, will be the home of ice hockey games that, as of this moment, will once again feature NHL players.
The Capital Indoor Stadium, which hosted volleyball in 2008, will be the site of figure skating and short-track speed skating.