It’s hard to believe the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games are finally here on the heels of last year’s summer games — but they kick off today.
This time, there are 215 athletes representing Team Canada at the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games, which is the country’s third-largest Winter Olympic contingent. Another 85 coaches will be representing the Canadian flag as well.
Notably, there are 106 athletes who identify as female, which is the most ever in Canadian Winter Olympic history.
Alberta leads the way with 40 athletes coming from our province, a remarkable feat, but not surprising considering many athletes choose to train out of Calgary.
“We are so incredibly proud of this team. These 215 athletes have dealt with so many obstacles and adversity on the road to representing Team Canada at Beijing 2022,” says Eric Myles, chief sport officer for the Canadian Olympic Committee.
“Through every struggle they have faced during the pandemic, they have continually demonstrated bravery, resilience, and determination. Beyond what athletes will achieve at Games, their journey to get here will provide much hope and inspiration.”
Myles says Canada’s success at the games will be measured by the health and safety of Team Canada and on the ability of athletes to step on the field of play and live out their dreams.
“We look forward to the incredible and inspiring stories that will come from these Olympic Games,” Myles adds.
A dream come true for Canadian athletes
For many of the athletes, the games were a long time coming, including for BC’s Natalie Corless, Team Canada luge athlete making her Olympic debut at Beijing 2022.
“Six months ago I would have thought going to the Games was practically impossible, but after an exciting season full of ups and downs, I am thrilled that I get to be a part of Team Canada for the 2022 Olympics,” Corless says.
Though she was young when the Vancouver Olympics took place, she says she will never forget watching the Olympic torch being carried past her house.
“It was so inspiring to see those athletes compete which was the beginning of my own Olympic dream. I am so grateful that I am now the one that gets to share this wonderful experience with the world.”
You can watch the games on CBC.
BY THE NUMBERS
Approximately 2,900 athletes from 90 National Olympic Committees are expected to participate.
There are 109 events in seven Olympic winter sports that take place in 13 competition venues across three competition zones — Beijing, Yanqing, and Zhangjiakou.
On the Canadian team, there are 106 women competing with the youngest being just 16 (Brooke D’Hondt, snowboard) and the oldest being 47 (Jennifer Jones, curling).
There are 109 men competing, with the youngest being 18 (Émile Nadeau, freestyle skiing) and the oldest being 43 (John Morris, curling).
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