Already, winter sports enthusiasts are looking ahead to the 2022 Olympics in Beijing. A little over two weeks of curling, hockey, luge, figure skating, skiing, and all the rest of winter's ice and snow-filled competitions goes by fast for the dedicated fan. So for those who like to plan ahead (way ahead), the precise dates for the 2022 Olympics have been announced already.
Beijing will kick off its 2022 Olympics on Feb. 4 and end on Feb. 20, following the recent trend of a two-week-plus length for the games. The official website of the Olympics has a hand countdown clock, which currently sits at just over 1,440 days. And Beijing has already released their official logo, noted for its lovely calligraphy (the main symbol is based on the Chinese character for "winter.")
Four years may feel like a long time, but the current length of the games is still a better deal for viewers than what came in previous eras. Rather than its current 17-ish day run, in 1976, 1980, and 1984, the entire Winter Olympics wrapped within 12 days.
In fact, Ben Cohen and Joshua Robinson at The Wall Street Journal complain that the Winter Games have stretched themselves beyond what's warranted. Noting there are no less than 18 days of curling, the two argue for a curtailed Olympics, suggesting they be cut down to 12 days.
It's unclear if some of the big-name American athletes from the 2018 Winter Games will be competing in 2022. Shaun White, who has been the defining name of snowboarding for nearly two decades, has floated the possibility of returning for yet another Olympic games in both 2020 (skateboarding's debut at the Summer Olympics) and in Beijing in 2022. By that time, White will be 35 years old. And while that's hardly "old" in the conventional sense, it is positively ancient in the sporting world — especially snowboarding. Seventeen-year-old Chloe Kim and 17-year-old Red Gerard just won gold in the half-pipe and slope style competitions, respectively. White would be twice their age in 2022.
Alpine skier Lindsey Vonn indicated this would be her last Winter Games, getting emotional following her bronze-medal final downhill run. The 33-year-old has been one of the most recognizable U.S. names in skiing since she made her Olympics debut in 2002. After an injury during a trial run sidelined her in 2006, Vonn came back for gold in 2010.
And even though she'd be 37 years old by the 2022 Olympics in Beijing, fellow alpine skier Mikaela Shiffrin doesn't buy into Vonn's claim that she's retiring. "I'm like, 'Knowing Lindsey, I don't believe her'," Shiffrin said at a news conference Friday.