The Beijing 2022 Olympics are officially open. This Friday afternoon, February 4, the opening ceremony of the Beijing Winter Olympics took place and the Olympic flame was lit in the famous “Bird’s Nest”. For this 24th edition of the Olympic Winter Games, a real spectacle was organized before the parade of athletes. Director Zhang Yimou directed the show, which had 3,000 attendees. Ambitions that have been scaled back due to the coronavirus.
Indeed, during the previous Games in China in 2008, 15,000 people took part in the opening ceremony. It is as always Greece which opened the parade of athletes for these Winter Olympics, a tradition for the European country which saw the birth of the Ancient Games. Thereafter, the delegations marched in alphabetical order in simplified Chinese characters, one of the two forms of writing Chinese characters.
The French delegation thus moved to 46th position, led by its two flag bearers, the slalomer Tessa Worley and the freestyle skier Kevin Rolland. The Games will take place from February 4 to 20.
Know that if you want to follow the events, you will have to do with the 7 hour time difference between Beijing and Paris and sometimes wake up in the middle of the night to encourage the French athletes. When it is 10 a.m. in Beijing, it is 3 a.m. in Paris.
This edition of the Winter Olympics could be one of the worst in history in terms of ecology. For the first time, the alpine skiing events will take place on a carpet of 100% artificial snow. As aerial images of the mountains on which the events take place show: there is not a snowflake next to the slopes. However, this was not a surprise for the organizers. Indeed, the region of the Olympic sites, in Yanqing and Zhangjiakou, is known for its winter drought. Despite the cold, snow almost never falls in these regions. However, the Beijing 2022 organizing committee remains in denial and ensures for its part that these Winter Olympic Games will be “environmentally friendly, unifying, open and clean”.
The presidential candidate Yannick Jadot did not fail to castigate the holding of these Olympic Games. “The Winter Olympics start in a totally crazy environment. I call for a boycott, because China and Qatar are making sport a political instrumentalization”, he assured on RTL this Wednesday, February 2. If Emmanuel Macron will not go to China, the Minister of Sports Roxana Maracineanu, the Minister of Sports, for her part assured that she would go to China from February 11 to 15 “in order to show her support for the French athletes in the running. as well as to their management, and show them the consideration of the State”. For their part, the United States announced a diplomatic boycott of these Olympics. The United States will indeed send its athletes, but no diplomatic representative will be present at the Winter Olympics in Beijing due to human rights violations by China.
It’s a full box, they are finally Olympic champions! Frenchmen Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron won the gold medal in the ice dance event in Beijing on Monday February 14. They finally won the last title that was missing from their list after having already been crowned four times world champions and five times European champions and Olympic vice-champions in 2018. They are ahead of the Russian duo formed by Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov ( 220.51 points, 131.66 on the free) and the Americans Madison Hubbel and Zachary Donohue (130.89 points in the free and 218.02 in total). They managed the nine elements to achieve (twizzle, staff, silhouette) to music by French pianist Gabriel Fauré. They thus offer the 11th gold medal to the French delegation.
A performance hailed by the President of the Republic himself. “4 times world champions, 5 times European champions, only one title was missing from their list: the gold medal at the Olympic Games. They did it! Congratulations Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron! What pride” , tweeted Emmanuel Macron.
We were waiting for him and he was able to confirm despite the pressure to offer the first individual gold medal to France on these Winter Olympics in Beijing. Quentin Fillon Maillet was crowned this Tuesday, February 8 Olympic biathlon champion in the individual 20 km biathlon event. After being for a very long time in the shadow of the great Martin Fourcade, five-time Olympic champion, he knew how to take his chance to shine in turn. Despite an 18/20 in shooting, the French beat the surprising Belarusian Anton Smolski (2nd, 20/20 14 “8) and the Norwegian Johannes Boe (3rd, 18/20, 31 “1). At 29, as L’Équipe points out, “QFM” already had five individual medals at the Worlds (three bronze and two silver), but had never won gold until now. He therefore climbed for the first time in his career on the highest step of the podium. Since the start of the season, he has become the leader of the France team and took this role after the retirement of Martin Fourcade. “It’s been a long way to get here and get this gold medal. Since I was little, it’s something that made me dream. I didn’t believe it during the whole race because with two faults, I imagined not being able to win it”, he reacted to Eurosport. It is a belated recognition for the one who has long been hidden by the successes of Martin Fourcade. “I have long been in the shadow of Martin, I shine in my turn”, confided the one who claims to have realized “his childhood dream”.
On Monday, February 7, Joahn Clarey had achieved a feat by becoming the oldest Olympic alpine Olympic medalist by winning the silver medal on the downhill. He arrives behind the Swiss Beat Feuz and the bronze went to the Austrian Mathias Mayer.
Following his fall during the alpine combined slalom this Thursday, February 10, 2022, during which he injured his shoulder, the Frenchman Alexis Pinturault passed exams and they are “reassuring”. The Courchevel skier suffers from a “simple contusion of the shoulder”, indicated the French National Olympic and Sports Committee (CNOSF). He should be able to compete on the Giant this Sunday, which is one of the main objectives of his Beijing 2022 Olympics. “Everything is in place for him to be competitive in the giant slalom”, specified the authority. There was no French medal this Thursday.
The French failed to beat the record of 15 medals obtained in Sochi and Pyeongchang. The Blues have nevertheless obtained 14 medals, including 5 gold medals. This puts them in 10th place of the Nations in the medal table.
On a purely sporting level, the French arrive with great hopes of beating their performance at the Pyeongchang Games, during which the French athletes had won 15 medals. According to many sports media, a lot of hopes rest for this Winter Olympiad on the French men’s and women’s biathlon teams, led by Quentin Fillon Maillet, the leader of the men’s World Cup.
There is also a lot of hope for female biathletes. Justine Braisaz-Bouchet and Julia Simon, who finished first and second respectively in the individual in Anterselva, Italy, on January 21, could claim an Olympic medal. In alpine skiing, the French will also try to end more than fifteen years without any Olympic title. In any case, this is the objective of Alexis Pinturault, triple Olympic medalist and winner of the big crystal globe in 2021. After a relatively poor start to the season, the Savoyard will defend his chances on the giant and the slalom to obtain the only title missing from his immense record.
It is the couple Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron on whom all hope rests. The couple are part of the world elite of ice dancing and have been accumulating coronations since 2015. They are indeed quadruple world champions and five-time European champions and had come close to Olympic gold four years ago in Pyeongchang.