IOC Announces 2022 Beijing Winter Games Will Ban International Spectators, Allow Fans from China


The International Olympic Committee announced Wednesday that no international fans will be allowed to attend the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing.

“The IOC and [International Paralympic Committee] welcome the decision to allow for the sale of tickets to spectators residing in China’s mainland. This will facilitate the growth of winter sports in China by giving those spectators a first-hand Olympic and Paralympic experience of elite winter sports, as well as bringing a favourable atmosphere to the venues,” the IOC said in a statement.

“However, all parties feel for the athletes and the spectators from around the world, knowing that the restriction on spectators from outside mainland China had to be put in place in order to ensure the safe holding of the Games this winter.”

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In contrast with the Tokyo Summer Games held in 2021, the 2022 Winter Games will allow tickets to be sold to spectators in China.

“Tickets will be sold exclusively to spectators residing in China’s mainland, who meet the requirements of the COVID-19 countermeasures,” the IOC said.

COVID-19 restrictions for spectators remain in development.

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“Specific requirements on COVID-19 countermeasures for spectators from China’s mainland and the details of ticketing arrangements are under discussion and development, and will be released to the public in due course once they are finalised,” the statement added.

In addition to only Chinese spectators, the IOC will require participants to be subject to daily COVID-19 testing and “closed-loop management” restrictions.

A separate news release on Wednesday from the Beijing Organising Committee also noted the vaccination policy for the Winter Games.

“All athletes and Games participants who are fully vaccinated will enter the closed-loop management system upon arrival. Games participants who are not fully vaccinated will have to serve a 21-day quarantine upon arrival in Beijing,” the statement said.

Athletes can apply for a “justified medical exception,” according to the statement.

The 2022 Winter Games are scheduled for Feb. 4 – 20, 2022. The Paralympics begin March 4, 2022.

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In addition to the IOC’s requirements, “Team USA announced earlier this month that it will require all of its athletes and staff members to be fully vaccinated in order to travel to Beijing,” USA Today reported.

The 2020 Tokyo Summer Games were postponed until 2021. Even then, no spectators were allowed.

Some have also suggested a U.S. boycott of the 2022 Winter Games due to human rights issues related to China.

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Dillon Burroughs reports on breaking news for The Western Journal and is the author or co-author of numerous books.
Dillon Burroughs reports on breaking news for The Western Journal and is the author or co-author of numerous books. An accomplished endurance athlete, Burroughs has also completed numerous ultramarathons. He lives in Tennessee with his wife and three children.