HomeBeijing 2022Beijing Olympics open with nod to Year of the Tiger

Beijing Olympics open with nod to Year of the Tiger

Jamaica will have three teams, including a female team, in bobsleigh competition in Beijing

BEIJING (AP) — Days after quietly ringing in the Chinese New Year, Beijing is celebrating the Year of the Tiger on the Olympic stage.

The tiger — a symbol of strength and good luck in Chinese folklore — was featured during Friday’s Winter Olympic opening ceremony. The placard bearers for all 91 countries in the Parade of Nations each wore a unique tiger-head hat, and a children’s choir was outfitted in traditional tiger-head shoes made in the northern Hebei province.

Celebrations for the Lunar New Year were muted across Asia on Monday amid concerns over the coronavirus, but hopes are high that the Year of the Tiger might return some sense of normalcy.

In Chinese mythology, the tiger is considered the king of all animals, and tiger-head hats and shoes are commonly worn by children to ward off demons and bring good luck. The hats created for the placard bearers Friday were designed in blue and white to represent snow and ice, while the shoes worn by the choir were a bright combo of orange, yellow and green.

Jamaica will have three teams, including a female team, in bobsleigh competition in Beijing.

It represents the first time in the country’s history, that Jamaica will have three teams at the Winter Olympics.

Jamaica will also compete in alpine skiing following the historic qualification of skier, the UK-based Benjamin Alexander.

The 38-year-old Alexander qualified to represent Jamaica because his father is Jamaican. He has become the second person to represent Jamaica in skiing at the Games, following Errol Kerr who finished ninth in the Ski Cross at the 2010 Games in Vancouver.

Jamaica will also compete in the four-man bobsleigh competition, the first time in 24 years that the country will field a team.

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