Olympic torch makes final stops ahead of Opening Ceremony

Ding Ning Olympic torch - Credit: Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

Ding Ning Olympic torch – Credit: Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

With the Opening Ceremony hours away to formally kick off the 2022 Winter Olympics, the Olympic torch is taking its final journey before it is lit at the National Stadium on Friday. 

The torch made its way through northwest Beijing on Friday morning, as torchbearers trekked through cold conditions past the Summer Palace and the former imperial gardens.

Among the torchbearers was Ding Ning, a Chinese Olympic medalist who won gold at the 2016 Summer Olympics and silver in 2012. 

“Then (in 2008), I was still striving towards my Olympic dream,” Ding said to Reuters. “Now to be able to participate in the Winter Olympics as a torch-bearer is a rare chance, so I’m very happy.”

The torch route was shortened to three days, with attendance restricted due to COVID-19 precautions. 

Still, 1,200 torchbearers will get to carry the torch ahead of the opening ceremony on Friday night. Former NBA star and Chinese basketball icon Yao Ming helped kick off the torch relay on Wednesday, and actor Jackie Chan took part in carrying the torch up the Great Wall on Thursday. 

SEE MORE: Jackie Chan carries Olympic torch up China’s Great Wall

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