Winter Olympics Start: Events happening in Colorado Springs

Published: Feb. 4, 2022 at 10:35 AM MST
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - The 2022 Winter Olympics are underway after opening ceremonies Friday morning. The games come just months after the summer 2021 Tokyo Olympics, because those games were postponed one year due to COVID-19.

In Beijing, there are tight COVID protocols. Mass testing was done ahead of opening ceremonies. Athletes have to be fully vaccinated, or quarantine for 3 weeks before going to Olympic Village. There are more 3,000 Athletes competing, more than 200 of which are Americans. Also like the summer games, no fans are allowed in the stands.

“We have shown through the sciences, through the medical community, that we can operate in a safe environment,” said John Register, a 2-time, 2-sport Paralympian. “The Olympic games bring people together. The games should go on, and so we need to just operate inside of those protocols.” Chinese leaders have stressed the importance of protocols being strictly followed.

A controversy aside from COVID, the U.S. and other nations announced official boycotts of the games in months leading up to now over human rights in China. The White House announced the U.S.’s boycott in December, saying no diplomats would be sent to the Beijing games.

When asked about the boycotts, Register said, “my own personal opinion is that we have to have these games because sports brings us together ... Sports is always that connector.”

Register won the long jump silver medal in the 2000 Paralympic Games. He hosted the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Museum’s first event during an Olympic Games for the Tokyo summer games. Register is back to host ‘Winterfest’ at the museum to celebrate the Beijing games.

“In my story, I was trying to be an Olympic-class athlete. I had an injury, lost a limb, and became a Paralympic athlete,” Register said. He explained that his story is much like that of many Olympians in it’s theme of overcoming unexpected obstacles. When asked what he hopes resonates with people most who attend Winterfest or simply go to the museum, Register said, “I want us to take away that we are resilient. We can move forward. This staple right here, the Olympic and Paralympic Museum, showcases all these athletes and how they overcome the adversities that are in their lives.”

Winterfest Details:

  • Feb. 4- March 13
  • Kick off event is Feb. 5, 11 a.m.- 5p.m. at the Olympic and Paralympic Museum plaza. There will be a jumbotron for games viewing, a beer garden, food, athlete meet & greets, and chances to try out winter Olympic sports
  • Click here for more information

Register says, “this is a staple.  The only place where we get the chance to have ‘Olympic City, USA’ is right here.”

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