100 days at the Winter Games, between quarantines and a small audience

In Beijing, the anticovid measures will be more severe than in Tokyo: special shuttles, Chinese only spectators and 21 days of isolation for the unvaccinated. And the Chinese demonstrate

It is already the Olympics of primates. For the good (no other city has ever hosted a summer and a winter edition) and for the bad. Because the problems of Beijing 2022, 100 days from the start, are many. More than what every five-circle countdown marks. At the heart of the difficulties, of course, the containment measures of the Covid-19 pandemic: they will be even more severe than those implemented in July and August in Tokyo. This was confirmed by the Playbooks issued on Monday by the organizing committee, the IOC and the international Paralympic committee, manuals addressed, in distinct versions, to the various categories of accredited, 2900 athletes in the lead. The second editions will be published in December.

Measures

Only those who are vaccinated, upon arrival (after flights that will often be chartered), will avoid a 21-day quarantine period. This net of the Olympic committees of the United States and Canada which, on their athletes, will impose immunization as an essential condition. Every day everyone will have to undergo a swab and everyone will have to update an app with data relating to their state of health. As already experienced by those who are participating in the (few) test-events on the calendar these days, the expected bubbles will be rigid and almost inviolable, closed-circuit. Masks always mandatory, any physical contact prohibited. The movements will take place on board dedicated and super-sanitized shuttles, only between the competition and training venues, between the three Olympic areas and the relative Villages. Beijing will host the ice disciplines, Yanqing (75 km northwest) and Zhangjiakou (180 in the same direction) those of snow. The first mountain resort will be the home of alpine skiing and bobsleigh, luge and skeleton gut. The second, connected to the others by trains that will reach 350 km / h, including cross-country skiing, biathlon, jumping and Nordic combined. At the moment, the presence of spectators has been confirmed, only Chinese and with capacities to be defined. Some of the plants used will be the same, transformed, of the 2008 summer edition. The Bird’s Nest, with its 80,000 seats, including: will host the opening and closing ceremony, as 13 years ago, when it was also the seat of the athletics and Usain Bolt’s early triumphs. The Water Cube, that of Michael Phelps’ eight golds, will become the Ice Cube, home to curling. In the city, in addition to the figure skating, short track, long track and ice hockey trials, there will be some snowboard and freestyle events.

Taken in holiday

It has been calculated that the Games, with the support of the government, will guarantee the national winter sports industry the equivalent of 134 billion euros by 2025. But to be a success they will have to win the battle against the virus and the, in turn very delicate, one concerning the possible protests of activists against the violations of human rights, of which China is always accused. First demonstrations took place last week in Olympia on the occasion of the lighting of the torch, whose journey, in the next few weeks, will be limited to the essential, with the involvement of no more than 1200 torchbearers. A big difference from 2008, when it was even taken to the top of Everest. But, it is well understood, this will be a very special Olympics.

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100 days at the Winter Games, between quarantines and a small audience

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