How China changed it up at the Beijing Olympic opening ceremony.
By Madison Sciba
Visiting News Reporter
After the Opening Ceremony on February 4th, the 2022 Beijing Olympics have been going on in full force. This year, however, differs from past games with linguistic differences and diplomatic demonstrations marring the normally straightforward Opening Ceremony and Parade of Nations.
Traditionally, there is a very specific way that countries enter the ceremony: Greece always enters first, being the traditional first host and creator of the games, then every country alphabetically, with second to last being the nation next to host the games, followed lastly by the host country’s athletes. In these games, Greece entered first, followed by the other countries, with the United States being 56th, Italy (the next host) going second to last, then finally China.
Traditionally, in the parade of athletes, countries enter alphabetically according to the language of the host country. China took their own spin on this, not going alphabetically but by the number of strokes in the first character of the countries name when written in Simplified Chinese characters. They also then counted the number of strokes in the second and third etc. characters if two countries had the same amount of strokes.
In a controversy surrounding the ceremony, several countries including the US, Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, Denmark, and India, announced that they were doing diplomatic boycotts of the Olympic games, meaning they did not send government officials to represent them. Taiwan, or Chinese Taipei as it was referred to at the games, made some waves by announcing that they would boycott the opening ceremonies. However, they reversed their decision to boycott after facing pressure from the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Taiwan was also told by the IOC that they were not allowed to display any symbols or actions that would suggest Taiwan was a sovereign nation, independent from China.
These games are just proof that no matter how hard the IOC tries, politics will always be attending the Olympics.
Ryan Ford '23,