Regardless of Omicron, it’s going to happen: the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, home of the exiled Ai Weiwei Bird’s Nest Stadium that struck us all with awe in 2008.
Human rights concerns have resulted in a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Games by the U.S., Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, Japan, Lithuania, Netherlands, Sweden, Slovenia, Austria, Estonia, and Belgium, but bureaucrats are not the stars of the Games, so who really cares?
Others are urging members of the public not to watch this year’s Winter Olympics; however, viewership and brand loyalty would have to significantly drop for anything to have a faint hope of changing at some distant point in the future. Even so, the IOC has cemented $7.75 billion from NBC for the U.S. broadcast rights until 2032 … and, no surprise, NBC is going to milk every last drop out of the Olympics.
The IOC continues to pride itself as being “the only event that brings the entire world together in peaceful competition”, while advertisers, such as official timekeeper Omega, claim “not to get involved in certain political issues because it would not advance the cause of sport in which our commitment lies”.
Let’s face it, taking the easy way out is not how the world works anymore. I’d like to challenge just 1 Olympic sponsor to do the right thing: step up, take a risk, say what needs to be said, create a movement, foster change and own it. That’s what people want today, and they’ll step up to guzzle your soft drink or use your credit card all the more because of it. Or, perhaps you’re all too big and what we really need is a newcomer, a unicorn that is more nimble and more prepared to take risks to show you big boys how to do it the new way. Or someone who doesn’t give a damn and is prepared to live with the consequences. Do I have a taker? Mr. Musk this sounds right up your alley …
“He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.” (Mohammad Ali, 1960 Summer Olympics gold medalist, light heavyweight boxing)
“The days of having separate sporting lives and social lives are over. Olympic organizers, host countries, broadcasters, advertisers and athletes must understand this and work together to find a balanced, productive way to blend both for the betterment of all. Sport does not and has never existed in isolation from society.”
Call me a cynic, but I believe we’ll all be paying attention to the Olympics in one form or another 10 days from now. After all, who is not inspired by the glory of winning and the agony of defeat? And Netflix just raised prices across all plans in North America, so why not watch something else as your own small form of protest?
To kick the Winter Olympics off, here are a few things you should know:
Friday, Feb. 4 – Sunday, Feb. 20
During the 2022 Winter Olympics, Beijing will be 13 hours ahead of the Eastern Time Zone and 16 hours ahead of the Pacific Time Zone. Be careful, as these large time differences will make it easy to mix up days/dates
Click here to get the full schedule in your time zone.
Super Bowl LVI will take place on February 13th … whoops, I see a problem coming down the tracks! Or maybe not … this could be a great opportunity for multi-tasking without having to double up on snacks. Not only will NBC provide exclusive coverage of the Winter Olympics, it is also the official Super Bowl LVI broadcaster, allowing NBC to make combo deals with advertisers instead of competing with CBS for many of the same sponsors. In 2018, NBC brought in an estimated $1.4 billion in revenue between the 2 events.
12 venues will host 109 Olympic medal events spread across 3 competition clusters, linked by a newly constructed bullet train transportation system that can achieve speeds of up to 217 mph:
- Beijing (capital of China)
- Yanqing (mountainous suburb 45 miles NW of Beijing)
- Zhangjiakou (popular ski destination 100 miles NW of Beijing)
7 different sport categories:
Biathlon, bobsleigh, curling, ice hockey, luge, skating (figure and speed), skiing (snowboarding and ski jumping)
Cross-country skiing, ski jumping, nordic combined (cross-country skiing + ski jumping) and speed skating have been on the program at every Winter Olympics since Year 1 (1924)
7 New Events:
Men’s and women’s big air freestyle skiing, women’s monobob and mixed team competitions in freestyle skiing aerials, ski jumping, snowboard cross and mixed relay in short track speed skating
We had new mixed events at the Tokyo Summer Olympics. I like the idea, do you?
Olympic Medal Forecast:
Nielsen’s Gracenote believes Norway will come out on top of the Olympic medals, with the United States and Canada in a dead heat for fourth place in overall standings. Team USA won fewer medals than Canada in 2018, but Canada has never topped Team USA at two consecutive Winter Olympics.
Among U.S. Olympians, freestyle skiing is projected to deliver the most medals in Beijing. Nathan Chen (figure skating) and Mikaela Shiffrin (alpine skiing) are strong contenders.
Freestyle skiing is expected to be the strongest sport among Canadian Olympic athletes. Mikael Kingsbury (freestyle skiing) and Ivanie Blondin (speed skating) are call-outs.
A Special Call Out During February’s Black History Month:
I’d like to draw FACT-ory blog readers’ attention to the Jamaican Bobsleigh team. There is no snow in Jamaica, yet there is fierce determination to excel in winter sports.
Jamaica has secured a position in the 4 man bobsleigh event for the first time since the Nagano Olympics in 1998. In 2018, Jamaican women catapulted down the narrow, twisting and banked Olympic run in PyeongChang for the first time ever.
Now challenge yourself and your friends to our Winter Olympics Quiz of the Day, by downloading Quizefy from the app store if you haven’t already done so, then see how much you know and Strut Your Smart. Our Winter Olympics Quiz is only available today, then it disappears. We’ll be back again every Tuesday with a special blog posted at www.quizefy.com, along with a new trivia quiz on the same topic as the blog. Don’t forget to follow Quizefy on social media, so we can remind you of the upcoming blog and quiz content.