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In Photos: 2022 Pre-Game at the Pyeongchang Closing Ceremony

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Today, as China’s General Secretary Xi Jinping passed the torch to himself, the hosts of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics passed their literal torch to Beijing, where the 2022 Games will be held.

Film director Zhang Yimou, who directed the Beijing 2008 opening ceremonies and will direct 2022’s closer, had some interesting comments at the closing ceremony in Pyeongchang:

We will be welcoming all the friends from all corners of the world, including the athletes, to the Olympic Winter Games 2022… It will be unique. The internet will also be used for the interactions between the Chinese people and the rest of the world. Chinese culture and the essence of our traditions will be included.

The handoff was commemorated in an eight-minute segment of the official closing ceremony program, which was pretty lit:

According to a post on the official website of the Olympic Games, Beijing is already revving up for its time in the spotlight four years hence:

“Part of this goal for us is to inspire the youth of China with the Olympic spirit, building a connection for the Olympic Movement with youth from all corners of the world,” Beijing 2022 Director of Media and Communications YeuChang said. “Secondly, we are hoping to encourage millions of people in China to embrace winter sports. We believe with more people enjoying winter sports, happiness and good health will be a natural result.”

The efforts are already proving successful, with a 30 per cent increase in participation in winter sports and 150 new winter events in the Beijing area.

That, and entire ski villages popping up virtually overnight:

How to Produce a Ski Village Out of Thin Air

Read more about Beijing’s designs on the 2022 Winter Games here.

Cover image: Getty/Olympic.org

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