Officials, athletes amazed by ‘short but spectacular’ opening ceremony of Beijing 2022
Published: Feb 05, 2022 02:30 PM
Photo: Li Hao/GT

Photo: Li Hao/GT

"Splendid," "amazing" and "spectacular" are some of the words uttered by officials and athletes from around the world at the opening ceremony of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics Games. Some officials highly praised the ceremony, and athletes shared their excitement and cheered the unprecedented sights and the eco-friendly ideas presented with high technology at the Bird's Nest stadium.

During a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi said the opening ceremony the previous evening was a spectacular event that fully underscored China's strength and influence. Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic also shared similar feelings as he told Xi during a meeting the same day that the ceremony was a visual feast that everyone enjoyed, which was amazingly splendid. 

At the moment, the world needs a successful Winter Olympics, which delivers a clear message to the world that people of different nationalities and from different regions and countries can be united and cooperate with each other beyond their divergences, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said during a meeting with Xi on Saturday. He also congratulated China for holding such an amazing opening ceremony successfully, which was also large-scale and safe, Guterres said. 

From the breathtaking display of rising Olympic rings and a colossal ice cube, to the unique "snowflake" Olympic cauldron, Beijing, the first dual Olympic city in the world, innovated green and high-tech standards for the Winter Games with its advanced space technology at the opening ceremony, delivering China's promise of holding a "simple, safe and splendid" event for all. 

Unlike the 2008 opening which focused more on China's 5,000 years of history, the 2022 opening performance on Friday night mixed Chinese culture with innovative green and high-tech concepts, highlighting China's present and future. This reflects the profound changes that have taken place over the 14 years since the last Beijing Olympic Games and shows how the Chinese people perceive themselves and how they hope the world perceives China, experts said.  

Bobsledder Edson Bindilatti, flag bearer for the Brazilian team at the opening ceremony, told the Global Times on Friday night that he was very happy and honored to fly the flag of Brazil at the opening ceremony. 

"All athletes dream of going to the Olympic Games, and when you realize this dream is coming true and you are invited to bring the flag, all the efforts you made and the difficulties you went through are worth it," he said.

The feeling you get from walking into an Olympic opening ceremony is unlike any other. The second you walk out of the tunnel and into the stadium is when it truly hits you, the moment you realize you are an Olympian and the whole world is watching, US bobsledder Carlo Valdes, a member of the US team to the 2022 Winter Olympics, told the Global Times on Saturday. 

"Being able to share the moment with your teammates while walking behind the flag is very special and to do it a second time is extra-special. These are moments I'll never ever forget," he said. 

Spanish skater Adrian Diaz shared selfies of himself with his teammates on Instagram, saying that he is proud to represent Spain again at his second Olympic Games and that it was a unique and unforgettable night. 

"The opening ceremony of the Beijing 2022 is so beautiful!" wrote famous Italian Alpine skier Marta Bassino on Instagram. She also posted several photos and video clips of herself and Team Italy, wearing Giorgio Armani designs, inside the stadium. 

US hockey player Alex Carpenter also expressed his feelings entering the Bird's Nest. "Nothing in the world quite like this!" he said via Instagram. British short track speed skater Kathryn Thompson wrote, "This was amazing!" while showing her selfies with teammates at the opening ceremony. 

Ander Mirambell, a skeleton racer from Team Spain, posted on Twitter that his experience at the opening ceremony was "a dream, an illusion and a reality."

A survey of 5,337 netizens launched on Japan's Yahoo site showed that more than 57 percent of netizens gave 10 points to the opening ceremony - the highest score. Some netizens said they were amazed by the high technology used in the ceremony and also the eco-friendly ideas on display.

The opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics was also under the world's spotlight. Canadian media outlet the Globe and Mail called it short but vibrant, and the Los Angeles Times said the Beijing Winter Olympics opened with a scene of calm, while Fox Sports Australia described it as an incredible ceremony. 

UK-based media The Guardian noted the opening ceremony could be "the greatest show on earth."

When the opening ceremony was broadcast live on German television, the commentator kept exclaiming "poetic," "fantastic," "perfect" and other words from the moment he saw the distinctive "Spring" fireworks.