Friday, Feb. 4th:
It’s Opening Ceremony day which always brings a sense of excitement and intrigue to the Olympic city, but it also brings a lot of closed roads around the main stadium. The Beijing National Stadium, usually called “The Bird’s Nest”, has been lit up and blaring music for days with rehearsals and security run throughs, but now even accredited journalists like myself need a special pass to get anywhere near it. I’ve covered seven Olympics, but never been to an opening ceremony. It’s the hottest ticket at any Olympics and even during pre-pandemic games you can’t just walk in with a media pass. Many of the busses which take us from place to place inside the Olympic bubble are changing schedules too and I’m guessing a lot of the foreign press here in China will have headed back to their hotels early to watch the ceremony on TV instead of getting stuck at the Olympic park.
I was busy preparing for our 6 a.m. newscast which aired right after NBC’s live overnight coverage of the Opening Ceremony, so I watched most of the ceremony from my desk.
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There was also a big group of NBC folks who gathered in our dining hall to enjoy some beer, wine and champagne (which isn’t normally on the menu). It was also fun to take a walk through the International Broadcast Center where hundreds of people, mostly Chinese press and volunteers, gathered in front of giant video wall.
The crowd politely clapped for every country announced during the parade of nations, but as you’d imagine the host country got the biggest applause.
The Winter Olympics are officially underway.
Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics
Watch all the action from the Beijing Olympics live on NBC
NBC 7's Steven Luke is in Beijing, China to bring us the latest updates from the 2022 Winter Olympics. Click here to follow his journey, day-by-day