Sights and sounds of the 2022 Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony

Posted at 8:24 PM, Feb 03, 2022

Figure skaters, hockey players and curlers have already taken to the ice, freestyle skiers have taken to the slopes. And now, the Winter Olympics are about to kick into full gear.

Performances, pageantry, the Parade of Nations, and the lighting of the Olympic cauldron are all on tap, with every moment of the 2022 Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony LIVE on NBC and Peacock.

Opening Ceremony Viewing Guide
Date / Time (ET) Show Where to Watch
Feb. 4 6:30 a.m. ET Opening Ceremony LIVE NBC | Peacock |
Feb. 4 12 p.m. ET Winter Olympics Daytime NBC | Peacock |
Feb. 4 8 p.m. ET Opening Ceremony Primetime NBC | Peacock |

Authenticated streaming is also available on and the NBC Sports app.

Who will light the cauldron? What other moments will dazzle our imaginations and steal the show? Follow along with our Live Blog below as we track every big moment of the Opening Ceremony as it unfolds in Beijing...

What to expect from the Opening Ceremony

6:30am ET: Director Zhang Yimou says video technology is going to be one of our protagonists this morning, aiming for "ethereal and romantic" scenes as obviously there will not be the mass of live human performers that made Beijing 2008 so memorable. The slogan of these games, "Together for a shared future" should inform visuals that reflect the world's challenges and triumphs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A little on Beijing before we begin

6:50am ET: Beijing becomes the first city to host both the Summer and the Winter Games. This is the third-straight Games held in Asia after South Korea in 2018 and Tokyo this past summer, which was delayed from 2020 due to the pandemic. Because of the delay, this is the shortest time between a Closing Ceremony of the previous games and the Open Ceremony of the next since 1992 -- when the Summer and Winter Olympics were held in the same year.

...And off we go!

7am ET: Off we go at the Bird's Nest, built in 2007 for the 2008 Games. There are 400 students on the floor of the stadium making long green LED sticks sway in a representation of Spring before the sticks change color to white. Winter's here on the floor and now the sky is bright with fireworks. Showtime, indeed, in China.

SEE MORE: Green willows signal start of Spring Festival

Passing the flag

7:10am ET: Fifty-six students pass the China flag from the center of the floor to soldiers, who march to raise it while Chinese president Xi Jinping and IOC president Thomas Bach, a gold medalist in 1976, look on ahead of the performance of China's national anthem.

Roll call! The Parade of Nations

7:15am ET: What began with a laser show detailing the 23 prior Winter Olympics and the unveiling of the rings now readies the Parade of Nations, as athletes will enter the fray led by Greece, as is tradition, followed in an unusual order: the number of strokes needed to compose the first letter of the nation's names in Chinese.

Performers dressed as hockey players perform during the Opening Ceremony
Performers dressed as hockey players perform during the Opening Ceremony of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics at the Beijing National Stadium on February 04, 2022 in Beijing, China.
(Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

Two North American-born "Party of One" athletes enter

7:22am ET: Ecuador's Sarah Escobar, born in New Jersey, and Eritrea's Shannon-Ogbani Abeda -- Canadian-born -- enter as flag bearers for their nations. Read more about single-athlete nations, here.

O, Canada!

Canada enters Opening Ceremony
Flag bearer Marie-Philip Poulin leads the Canadian delegation during the Opening Ceremony of the 2022 Winter Olympic Games.
Getty Images

We miss you, Elana

Elana Meyers Taylor was elected Team USA flag bearer but is unable to attend the Opening Ceremony due to COVID-19 protocols. She's fired up, nonetheless (video).

Brittany Bowe takes Elana's place next to curler John Shuster.

SEE MORE: Skaters create visually stunning light display

And Here Comes Team USA!!

7:58am ET: Brittany Bowe and John Shuster lead 'em in!

Speedskater Brittany Bowe and curling skip John Shuster carry in the U.S. flag during the Opening Ceremony
Brittany Bowe carries in US flag at Opening Ceremony
Getty Images
USA enters Opening Ceremony
Team USA follows the stars and stripes into the National Stadium during the Opening Ceremony for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games.
Getty Images

8:10am ET: Here comes Chile, which has become a "summer" home for America's Winter Olympians.

After The Parade

9am ET: We've had a dazzling snowflake installation as well as speeches from Communist Party secretary Cai Qi and IOC president Bach imploring unity. The 2022 Winter Olympics are officially underway and the Olympic Cauldron will be lit... soon!

Opening Ceremony Snowflake
Performer’s dance around a large snowflake formed by smaller snowflakes, one for each participating nation, during the Opening Ceremony of the 2022 Winter Olympic Games.
Getty Images
Artistic performance during 2022 Opening Ceremony
Projection display is seen during the Opening Ceremony of the 2022 Winter Olympics.
Getty Images

9:15am ET: Enter the Olympic Flame!

After stops at several historic sites in Greece, the flame was moved to a specialized Chinese lantern called a Changxin and then flown to China.

The relay was very short, three days, due to the pandemic.

Now the torchbearers: world champion speed skater Luo Zhihuan, 2010 Olympic gold medal winner Zhang Hui, five-time short track medalist Li Jiajun, figure skating medalist Shen Xue, aerials skiing gold medalist Han Xiaopeng, and 2014 gold medal-winning speed skater Zhang Hong.

9:20am ET: The snowflake is back with the flame at the heart of it, raised into the sky while fireworks explode above the stadium. The temporary towers soar as the flame will be kept aloft inside the snowflake.

Opening Ceremony Fireworks
Olympic Cauldron and fireworks display during the Opening Ceremony of the 2022 Winter Olympics.
Getty Images

9:22am ET: Thank you for spending some time with us this morning! Now back to the Games!

SEE MORE: Lasers 'carve' winter Olympic host cities on block of 'ice'