How to watch the Beijing Olympics opening ceremony on Friday

A display of the Olympic rings at the National Alpine Skiing Centre in Yanqing, China, on Feb. 2.
The 2022 Beijing Olympics officially start on Friday and will run through Feb. 20.
(Joe Klamar / AFP via Getty Images)

The 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games officially start Friday with the traditional opening ceremony. Some events, including curling, hockey and luge are already underway in Beijing. The Games will run through Feb. 20 and 223 Americans are expected to compete.

Here’s a breakdown of everything you need to know about the Beijing Olympics opening ceremony.


How to watch the opening ceremony

Two policemen check the pictures they have just taken in front of a display in Beijing.
(Andrea Verdelli / Getty Images)

NBC and Peacock will broadcast the opening ceremony live, starting at 3:30 a.m. PST on Friday. NBC will also broadcast expanded coverage of the ceremony in prime time.


The event is scheduled to last about three hours. Here’s a breakdown of the broadcast times (all PDT):

Live opening ceremony coverage: 3:30 a.m.–7 a.m. Friday, — NBC, Peacock

Enhanced prime-time opening ceremony coverage: 5-9 p.m. Friday — NBC

The joy and celebration of past Games is missing in Beijing as the Winter Olympics head down a soulless path devoid of fun.


When will the opening ceremony take place in Beijing?

Fireworks explode over National Stadium in Beijing during a rehearsal for the Winter Olympics opening ceremony.
(Wang Xinchao / Associated Press)

The opening ceremony will take place at 8 p.m. local time in Beijing. With Beijing being 16 hours ahead of the West Coast of the United States, the event starts at 4 a.m. PDT.

During NBC’s prime-time broadcast of the opening ceremony, some events, including curling and freestyle skiing will be underway Saturday morning in Beijing.


The opening ceremony will take place at National Stadium (also known as the “Bird’s Nest”), which hosted the 2008 Summer Olympics opening and closing ceremonies.


Who will be the flag bearers for the U.S. delegation?

U.S. speedskater Brittany Bowe competes in a World Cup race in Kearns, Utah, on Dec. 4.
(Rick Bowmer / Associated Press)

Speedskater Brittany Bowe and curler John Shuster will lead the U.S. delegation into National Stadium as the American flag bearers.

Bobsledder Elana Meyers Taylor was chosen by her teammates to walk with Schuster before testing positive for the coronavirus. Meyers Taylor is in isolation and will not take part in the parade of nations, but she hopes to compete, with the bobsled competition beginning Feb. 13. Meyers Taylor, a three-time Olympic medalist, is among the favorites to win gold in monobob, which is making its Olympics debut.

Bowe, a three-time Olympian who won bronze in speedskating at the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics, will step in for Meyers Taylor after receiving the next highest number of votes.

“Taking on this responsibility is the honor of a lifetime, and I will proudly carry the American flag on behalf of Elana, her family, and all of Team USA,” Bowe said in a statement.


Shuster, who won gold in 2018 and is participating in his fifth Olympics, is the first curler to carry the U.S. flag in an opening ceremony.

“Joining the incredible group of Team USA leaders, especially since it was chosen by my Team USA teammates, is one of the greatest honors of my sporting career.”


Will fans be allowed to attend the opening ceremony?

National Stadium in Beijing will host the opening ceremony on Friday.
(Petr David Josek / Associated Press)

Chinese Olympic officials are only allowing fans by invitation to attend the opening ceremony. Under “adapted” guidelines, only fans who “strictly abide COVID-19 countermeasures” will be allowed to attend the opening ceremony at National Stadium.


How to watch and stream the Olympics

Fan Duoyao of China speeds past the Olympic rings during a men's luge training run on Wednesday.
(Mark Schiefelbein / Associated Press)


NBCUniversal has exclusive U.S. broadcasting rights for the Beijing Olympics. NBC, USA, CNBC, the Olympic Channel, Peacock and will have extensive coverage throughout the Games, which run through Feb. 20.


Who will be competing for the United States?

Mikaela Shiffrin speeds down the course during a World Cup giant slalom run in Kronplatz, Italy, on Jan. 25.
(Alessandro Trovati / Associated Press)

All of the individual gold medalists from the 2018 Games will be competing in Beijing, including Alpine skier Mikaela Shiffrin, halfpipe skier David Wise and snowboarders Chloe Kim, Shaun White, Jamie Anderson and Red Gerard.

In addition, four athletes who made their Olympic debuts at the 2006 Turin Games will be competing in their fifth Olympics — snowboarder Lindsey Jacobellis, skeleton racer Katie Uhlaender, and Shuster and White.

Here’s a list of every U.S. athlete who qualified for the 2022 Games. A total of 223 are expected to compete: