SPORT / SPORTS 108 | Olimpijada » Olympics During February we enjoyed 17 competitive days, 109 competitions in 15 different disciplines and approximately 2,900 athletes who had only one goal: a medal around their necks BEIJINGWASSELECTEDTO BE THE FIRST CITY to host both the Summer andWinter Olympics, and its Olympics will be remembered for the introducing of several new sports, but also for its strong promoting of gender equality. Accordingly, for the first time in history, competitions with mixed-gender teams were held in sports such as snowboard cross, freestyle skiing and ski jumping, while womenwere given an opportunity to compete in the monobob event for the first time. All events were divided into three zones, or clusters, among which the city of Beijing dominated as a venue, given that it hosted all indoor competitions. Nonetheless, we will best remember the Beijing Winter Olympics for themagnificent opening ceremony. The entire world watched this spectacle unfold at the stadium known as the “bird‘s nest”, which also served as the venue for the opening of the 2008 Summer Olympics, and behind it all stood the sameman: filmdirector Yi-Mou Zhang, who engaged approximately 3,000 people. It wasmostly teenagers and volunteers who initially emerged wearing red suits and ice skates, traversing the virtual ice that had been installed in the stadium. They danced to John Lennon‘s Imagine. Given that the opening ceremony took place on the first day of spring according to the Chinese calendar, the start of the entire show carried symbols of this season. Scenes from the previous 23WinterOlympicswere projected onto a three-dimensional cube by laser, which looked reallymasterful. A Winter Olympics without snowmight seemstrange, but that‘s how itwas! And thatwasn’t because Beijing doesn’t have enough snow, but rather because the International Olympic Committee encourages hosts to use artificial snow in order for the Games to be sustainable. However, thiswas the first time that artificial snowhasbeenusedexclusively, in 100%of cases, at all 17 locations where competitions were held. Creating such a large amount of snow required around 223 million litres of water, 100 generators and 300 snow cannons. The Olympic mascot could be seen on every corner in Beijing. As expected, it was a panda, called Bing Dwen Dwen. The bear was dressed in an outfit representing SP ECTACU L AR SPORT I NG GAMES Artificial snow and all Beijing’s robots the combination of skating equipment and a space suit, as a way of paying tribute to the new technologies that allow us to constantly shift boundaries. This is also evident on his face, or in the brightly coloured halo around his face that represents all the sophisticated technologies used in sporting competitions, while the heart onhis hand is intended to symbolise sports fans, but also China as a generous and hospitable host. In accordance with such a concept, theOlympic Villagewas full of robots that carried out a lot of work in order, among other things, to reduce the risk of coronavirus contagion. As many as 120 robots performed tasks in theOlympicVillage alone.Theywere even able to detect the presence of covid-19 in the air and automatically disinfect rooms. The future has arrived! Zimska olimpijada bez snega zvuči čudno, ali tako je bilo! I to ne zato što nema dovoljno snega u Pekingu AWinter Olympics without snowmight seem strange, but that’s how it was! And that wasn’t because Beijing doesn’t have enough snow FOTO: Profimedia.rs / Canadian Press / Shutterstock Editorial FOTO: Profimedia.rs / PA Images / Alamy