Olympic torch makes final stops ahead of Opening Ceremony

Posted at 10:09 PM, Feb 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-04 01:06:38-05

With the Opening Ceremony set to formally kick off the 2022 Winter Olympics, the Olympic torch is taking its final journey before lights the cauldron at the National Stadium on Friday. 

The torch made its way through northwest Beijing on Friday morning, as torchbearers trekked through cold conditions past the Summer Palace and the former imperial gardens.

Among the torchbearers was Ding Ning, a Chinese Olympic medalist who won gold at the 2016 Summer Olympics and silver in 2012. 

"Then (in 2008), I was still striving towards my Olympic dream,” Ding said to Reuters. “Now to be able to participate in the Winter Olympics as a torchbearer is a rare chance, so I'm very happy."

SEE MORE: How to watch the Opening Ceremony of the 2022 Winter Olympics

The torch route was shortened to three days, with attendance restricted due to COVID-19 precautions. 

Still, 1,200 torchbearers will get to carry the torch ahead of the opening ceremony on Friday night in Beijing (early Friday morning in the States). Former NBA star and Chinese basketball icon Yao Ming touched the torch on Wednesday, and actor Jackie Chan took part in carrying the torch up the Great Wall on Thursday. 

SEE MORE: Jackie Chan carries Olympic torch up China's Great Wall