The Beijing Winter Olympics kick off tomorrow, and a list of interesting facts includes: A former FAU basketball player will represent the U.S. at the opening ceremony for the Beijing Olympics. Brittany Bowe, a 33-year-old speedskater from Ocala, was named one of the flag bearers, along with curler John Shuster. Bobsledder Elana Meyers Taylor was originally elected to walk alongside Shuster, but the 37-year-old three-time medalist recently tested positive for COVID-19. Taylor, who is asymptomatic, called Bowe to inform her that she’d be taking Taylor’s place.
There are 223 athletes on the U.S. team, which is a record for the Winter Olympics.
Here are 10 interesting facts about the Games:
- The estimated budget of the Beijing Winter Olympics is $3.9 billion, which is a LOT . . . but way less than the record-setting 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, which cost an estimated $50 billion. The projected ad revenue will be $600 million, which is down 10% from the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
- There are 223 athletes on the U.S. team, which is a Winter Olympics record.
- It’s been 14 years since China has hosted the Olympics. The 2008 Summer Olympics were also in Beijing. By the way, Beijing is now the first city to host both a Summer AND Winter Olympics.
- The Games will take place across 25 venues in Beijing and the neighboring city Zhangjiakou . . . and all will be powered with 100% renewable energy.
- Five venues will be reused from the 2008 Summer Games.
- Zhangjiakou is more than 3-hours away from Beijing by car . . . but it’s just a 47-minute ride on the intercity railway, which is the world’s first driverless high speed railway.
- The mascot for the Games is Bing Dwen Dwen the panda.
- 2,900 athletes are expected to attend the 2022 Games . . . and 45.4% of them are women. That makes it the most gender balanced Olympic Games in history.
- 91 countries will participate . . . in a record 109 events . . . across 15 sports.
- There will be 7-new events: Women’s monobob, which is a solo bobsledding event . . . big air skiing . . . mixed team snowboard cross . . . mixed team aerials in freestyle skiing. . . mixed team relay in short track speedskating . . . and mixed team ski jumping.