Torch bearers Dinigeer Yilamujiang (L) and Zhao Jiawen raise the Olympic torch into the Olympic cauldron during the opening ceremony of the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games at the National Stadium in Beijing, capital of China, Feb. 4, 2022. (Xinhua/Liu Xu)
Dinigeer Yilamujiang, a female cross-country skier, and Zhao Jiawen, a male Nordic combined athlete, both born in the 2000s, jointly positioned the Beijing 2022 torch at the heart of a snowflake that was then raised and hung aloft over the Bird’s Nest to symbolize the start of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games on Friday.
Dinigeer Yilamujiang, born in Altay, northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, learned to ski in her earlier years as her father is a cross-country skiing instructor. In March 2019, she finished second in the opening women’s leg of a three-leg sprint series in Beijing to become the first Chinese medalist in the sport at any FIS-level event.
In January 2022, she was selected to join China’s cross-country skiing women’s team for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games and is set to compete in the women’s 7.5km + 7.5km Skiathlon event at the Games.
Torch bearers Dinigeer Yilamujiang (L) and Zhao Jiawen set the torch into the Olympic cauldron during the opening ceremony of the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games. (Xinhua/Li Ga)