Winter Games 2022: Will There Be Spectators At The Beijing Olympics?

Athletes, coaches and officials will all be in attendance during the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, and hard work has gone on behind the scenes to ensure that 150,000 spectators will be allowed to watch the games live too.

Some events at the 2022 Winter Olympic Games have already gotten underway but the opening ceremony officially marks the start of the games on Friday, February 4, 2022. With two weeks of athleticism and competition coming up, many have been left wondering whether crowds will be allowed to come and watch the events live.

While the Summer Olympics in Tokyo were largely spectator-less, the Beijing's Winter Olympics will have thousands of people able to come and watch, but there are a number of rules in place.

What are the rules for spectators at the 2022 Winter Olympics?

Omicron cases have been rising in Beijing, and on January 17, 2022, it was announced that ticket sales to the general public will be canceled, making it the second Olympics in the row closed to the public. There will however, still be around 150,000 live spectators who will have the pleasure of seeing the Winter Olympics live in person.

A limited number of spectators will be admitted by invitation from Beijing and Zhangjiakou residents to the nearby venues. The organizers said in a presentation to the IOC that school children, local residents and "winter sports enthusiasts" will be targeted for invitations to the events. There will also be "members of diplomatic missions and marketing partners" inside the venues.

Strict protocols will be in place for those intending to attend the games, including the athletes, staff and attendees. Yanqing's events, alpine skiing and sliding sports, will go ahead without fans.

In September 2021 it was announced that the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games 2022 wouldn't be selling tickets to spectators from outside of China's mainland. There will be a limited number of accredited people at the Olympics, including sports officials and media who are living in closed-off bubbles separate from the Chinese public.

Ahead of the games, Christophe Dubi, the Olympic Games executive director of the International Olympic Committee announced spectator capacity numbers would be taken on a venue-by-venue basis.

Winter Olympic Games spectators
Spectators will be invited to the Winter Olympic Games but ticket sales are closed to the public. Alain Grosclaude / Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

The Winter Olympic Games venues

While the Beijing National Stadium, aka the Bird's Nest, will host the opening and closing ceremonies, no games will be held there. Instead, each of the games' many sports will be held at multiple venues across three zones.

In the Beijing zone there will be six venues hosting sports which compete on ice like speed skating, curling and ice hockey. The Big Air Shougang will also host snowboarding and freestyle skiing.

The Yanqing zone features the National Alpine Ski Centre and alpine skiing, while the National Sliding Centre hosts bobsleigh, luge and skeleton events.

Within the Zhangjiakou zone hosts more snow events across its four venues, including ski jumping, biathlon and cross-country.

All three zones feature their own Olympic village for athletes to stay in.

With the exception of the Yanqing venues, there's bound to be some atmosphere within each of the venues of the Winter Olympic Games 2022 thanks to the 150,000 extra spectators.

The Winter Olympic Games will broadcast across NBC until the closing ceremony on Sunday, February 20, 2022.

Correction 2/5/22 5:20 a.m.: This article originally stated the 2020 Summer Olympics took place in Seoul. The games took place in Tokyo. Newsweek regrets this error.