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2022 Winter Olympics Officially Kick Off with Epic Opening Ceremony in Beijing

The 24th edition of the Winter Olympics officially kicked off in Beijing on Thursday, and the opening ceremony was one for the ages. Almost 3,000 athletes from 91 nations were in attendance when the cauldron was lit, officially marking the start of the event. China’s willingness to pursue world peace was one of the themes of the opening ceremony, and many parts of the show celebrated the country’s history and culture. Lightening of the flame was pretty memorable, as two Chinese athletes placed it inside a giant snowflake engraved with the names of the 91 nations taking part in the competition. There was a lot of controversy surrounding this year’s Winter Olympics, leading to several countries boycotting the ceremony. IOC president Thomas Bach briefly addressed the boycotts and asked people around the world to “give peace a chance”. "In our fragile world, where division, conflict and mistrust are on the rise, we show the world: yes, it is possible to be fierce rivals, while at the same time living peacefully and respectfully together," said Bach during the opening ceremony. Preliminary events kicked off on February 2, with seven new disciplines being introduced, including big air freestyle, women's monobob, mixed team competitions in freestyle skiing aerials, ski jumping, and snowboard cross, and the mixed relay in short track speed skating. Winter Games will come to an end at the closing ceremony, set to take place on February 20.