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How to watch the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics for free: Live stream all the action from Beijing 2022, anywhere in the world

Jane Hoskyn
7 Jan 2022
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The Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics begin on Friday 4 February. Here's how to watch for free from anywhere in the world

It's Olympics time again (already!), as Beijing 2022 takes the baton from Tokyo 2020 – and Eurosport takes the TV baton from the BBC. Don't panic. Subscription service Eurosport may now be the main holder of Olympics TV rights in the UK and France, but there will still be plenty of live ice hockey, figure skating, curling and more to watch for free on BBC One, Two and iPlayer.

As part of its deal when selling Olympics rights to Eurosport, the Beeb will sub-license a limited amount of free coverage of the Beijing Games, which sees a total of 109 medal events covering 15 different disciplines. Coverage in the UK and Ireland is effectively split between the BBC and Eurosport, where a Sport & Entertainment pass costs a reasonable £7 per month or £60 per year.

There are other options for UK viewers, too. As of November 2021, NBC's Peacock streaming service is available as a Sky or Now TV add-on in the UK and Ireland. Peacock, which replaces NBCSN as the place to go for Olympics coverage for US viewers, has a free 7-day trial in the US.

Meanwhile in Australia, where Perth residents are in the same time zone as Beijing, Channel 7 broadcasts the action live for free. If you want to tune into Channel 7 or any other network from the UK or abroad, use one of the best VPNs, such as ExpressVPN. We've got all the details of these and other viewing options below.

But first, let's don a thermal wetsuit and dive in for a closer look at Beijing 2022. What are Team GB's medal hopes? When are those must-watch ice hockey and curling matches? Read on for all you need to know.

Watch the Olympics on Eurosport


How to watch the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics: Quick links

Use the links below to jump to a section on the page:

What are the key dates of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics?

The 2022 Winter Olympics officially kicks off on Friday 4 February, with the glittering opening ceremony at the Beijing National Stadium at 8pm local time (12 noon in the UK and Ireland). The closing ceremony is also at 8pm local time, on Sunday 20 February. The Beijing Paralympics then take place a month later, from 4 to 13 March.

The fun – which is to say, the curling – actually starts on Wednesday 2 February, a day after China growls into the Year of the Tiger on 1 February. Tune in at 12.05pm UK time on 2 February to see world champions Bruce Mouat and Jenn Dodds begin their bid for Team GB glory in the curling mixed doubles.

There's more curling, ice hockey, freestyle skiing and figure skating to watch on Thursday 3 and Friday 4 February, all before the opening ceremony.

Sunday 20 February is one of the busiest days of the games. As well as the glittering closing ceremony (stream live from 12 noon UK time) and exhibition gala, it also includes gold medal finals in five of the most popular events, including ice hockey, figure skating and curling.

Also reserve the sofa from early morning on Tuesday 8 February. There'll be no fewer than ten medal events on that day, including speed skating, luge, freestyle skiing and snowboarding, which is a real treat to watch.

Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics events at a glance

Opening ceremony: 4 February

Closing ceremony: 20 February

Alpine skiing (12 medal events): 6 to 19 February

Biathlon (11 medal events): 5 to 19 February

Bobsleigh (4 medal events): 13 to 20 February

Cross-country skiing (12 medal events): 5 to 20 February

Curling (6 medal events): 2 to 20 February

Figure skating (5 medal events): 4 to 20 February

Freestyle skiing (13 medal events): 3 to 19 February

Ice hockey (4 medal events): 3 to 20 February

Luge (4 medal events): 5 to 10 February

Nordic combined (3 medal events): 9 to 17 February

Short track (9 medal events): 5 to 16 February

Skeleton (2 medal events): 10 to 12 February

Ski jumping (5 medal events): 5 to 14 February

Snowboarding (13 medal events): 5 to 15 February

Speed skating (16 medal events): 5 to 19 February

Time difference: 8 hours ahead of UK

Find the full sport-by-sport schedule, which is subject to change, at Olympics.com

Who are Team GB's Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics hopefuls?

Team GB fared brilliantly at the Tokyo 2020 summer games in August 2021, coming 4th in the medals table behind the USA, Japan and China – and ahead of Russia. Britain has never fared as well at winter sports, but if Team GB can win more than five medals at Beijing 2022, it'll be its most successful Winter Olympics ever.

Team GB has won medals in the skeleton in all seven Winter Olympics since the event was introduced, so that'll be one to watch. However, double champ Lizzy Yarnold has now retired, leaving Amelia Coltman to compete for the women's skeleton crown on 12 February.

Scottish curling star Bruce Mouat is the first Team GB athlete to compete in two curling disciplines at the same Olympics: mixed doubles with his fellow world champion Jenn Dodds, and the men's team event, with 2021 World Championships silver medallists.

Freestyle skiers James Woods, Izzy Atkin and Kirsty Muir are ones to watch, too. Seventeen-year-old Muir will be hoping to convert her 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games (YOG) silver medal into gold. Muir's best chance is in one of Beijing's new events, freeski big air, with qualifiers from 7 February.

Snowboarder Katie Ormerod missed the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics after a horrific crash, and seven operations later she's back at the top of her sport and will be a strong contender. Another snowboarder, British-born 2021 World Championships gold medallist Charlotte Bankes, represented France in Sochi and Pyeongchang and has now switched to Team GB.

Brad Hall and Greg Cackett are fresh from a silver win in the two-man bobsleigh at the World Cup and are looking great for a podium position. There'll be headlines, too, from veteran Olympians Lamin Deen and Greg Rutherford in the four-man bobsleigh. Yes, that Greg Rutherford: London 2012 long jump gold medallist and Strictly Come Dancing 9th-weeker. Deen, 40, who nearly retired after Pyeongchang, has spoken of the boost he received following the arrival of Rutherford, whose natural aptitude left him "gobsmacked".

Rutherford has battled a shoulder injury, but we're keeping our fingers tightly crossed for him. Not least because if the four-man bobsleigh team finishes in the final three, Rutherford will be the first British athlete to win medals at both the summer and winter games.

Team GB's final Beijing squad will be confirmed closer to the start of the Olympics, and may be affected by Covid. Keep an eye on this page for updates.

How will Covid and the diplomatic boycott affect Beijing 2022?

Nations including the UK, the US and Australia are refusing to send government representatives, to protest China's record on human rights. Athletes from these nations will still compete. It's similar to England's diplomatic boycott of the World Cup 2018 in Russia, and probably won't make much difference to your TV viewing.

Covid is having a more marked effect. Safety measures at Beijing 2022 will be much tighter than at Tokyo 2020. All participants, including referees and team officials, must stay inside a "closed loop" that's off-limits to the general public. So don't expect to see many ringside hugs with Mum.

How to watch the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics live for free in the UK: BBC

The BBC may no longer be the UK's main Olympics broadcaster, having relinquished the rights to Eurosport, but it's still the main place to go for free coverage. Catch plenty of daily action and highlights live and on-demand via the BBC iPlayer and Sounds app, which has hours of commentary every day via Radio 5 Live. Both iPlayer and Sounds are available on smart TV, in your browser, and via their free apps for Android and iOS.

You can also follow BBC Sport's Olympics website for live updates, videos and breaking news, all free. As soon as the BBC releases its Beijing 2022 TV schedules, we'll update this page with details.

READ NEXT: How to listen to BBC radio abroad

Watch BBC iPlayer live


How to watch the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics live in the UK: Eurosport

Eurosport's Beijing 2022 coverage is second to none in the UK and Europe. You can watch every single event live from Beijing 2022 via Eurosport's website and smart TV app, as well as its apps for iOS and Android. Eurosport will have interviews with Britain's leading winter Olympians past and present, and exclusive documentary features. The Eurosport Olympics website is also packed with videos to watch for free.

Lead-up coverage has already begun, so don't waste time grabbing your subscription. It's great value, too. A Sport & Entertainment pass gives you full coverage for £60/yr (£5/mth) or, if you'd rather just pay for the Olympics then cancel, it's £7/mth. Your pass gives you live HD coverage, streaming on multiple devices, and even multi-camera angles so you can choose your favourite view.

Subscribe to Eurosport


How to watch the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics live for free in Australia: Channel 7

Australia, like Britain, is a Summer Olympics star nation that doesn't fare so well at the winter games – but makes up for it with a brilliant national broadcaster whose Olympics coverage is all free. If you're in Oz, all you need to do to watch live Beijing 2022 coverage on Channel 7 is create a free account.

By default, Channel 7 isn't available outside Australia. However, if you use a reliable VPN, you can switch to Australia as your virtual location and tune in that way. Find more details below, in our section on VPNs.

Watch Channel 7 live


How to watch Beijing 2022 live in the US, UK and Ireland: Peacock

Will Team USA break its fourth-place jinx in Beijing? After narrowly failing to make the top three in PyeongChang and Sochi, the US will be gunning for glory. Names to watch include ski racing star Mikaela Shiffrin and three-time Olympic medallist Hilary Knight, hero of the US women's ice hockey team. NBC's Olympics website has hundreds more athlete profiles and free-to-view videos in the run-up to Beijing 2022.

NBC has long been the big US sports broadcaster, thanks to its sports network NBCSN, now replaced by streaming service Peacock. Peacock may not have NBCSN's name recognition yet, but it's a force to be reckoned with, and excellent value at $5/month or $50/year after a free 7-day trial.

Peacock is also now available in the UK and Ireland, where you can add it to your Sky or Now TV package. It doesn't cost extra, either - it's included with a Now TV Entertainment Membership, which costs £10/month.

Watch Peacock in the US

Watch Peacock on Now in the UK


How to watch the Winter Olympics from anywhere: Use a VPN

All the streaming services we've mentioned have geo-blocks in place, which prevent you from watching outside of their default location (for example, the UK and Ireland for iPlayer). However, there is a way to beat the system: use a VPN.

A VPN (virtual private network) is software that works by letting you virtually connect to any server in the world, thereby spoofing your location and beating geo-blocks. If you want to watch Channel 7's Olympics coverage from Spain or Pakistan, for instance, choose Australia from your VPN's dropdown menu of virtual locations.

VPNs are not just good for location tricks. They're also great for your online privacy. When you're connecting via your VPN on any device, it hides your activity from potential snoopers, including your ISP and broadcasting trackers.

Unfortunately, a number of chancers have leaped on the VPN bandwagon, offering cheap VPN tools that are neither safe nor effective. So it's really important that you choose one with an excellent track record and user feedback. Better still, use one of the VPNs we've put through their paces on factors including safety, speed, efficiency and value for money.

READ NEXT: Our pick of the best VPNs

Good VPNs do cost money to use, so if you just want one to improve your Olympics viewing then you're best to choose one that excels on streaming speeds and device support. Read on for two that we think fit this bill.

ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN was our top choice for streaming in our guide to the best VPNs you can buy. It offers more than 3,000 servers in 94 countries around the world, and it's fast enough to stream multiple 4K videos at once, even from the US. It did an excellent job of unblocking geo-blocked streaming services in our tests, and also offers gold-standard security and support for a wide range of platforms.

At £10 per month it's not the cheapest VPN, but its superb speeds mean you can stream the Olympics in HD resolution regardless of your device or location. It also comes with 24/7 customer support and a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Get ExpressVPN now


NordVPN

We named NordVPN the best all-rounder in our VPNs guide and gave it five stars in our full NordVPN review, hailing its excellent speed, security and multiple device support. It does a great job of unblocking overseas streaming services, including iPlayer from outside the UK. Like ExpressVPN, NordVPN comes with 24/7 customer support and a 30-day money-back guarantee for new customers.

NordVPN's two-year plan is fantastic value, at just £58 for 24 months – that's not much more than £2 per month. Price per month is £8.84 if you'd rather not be tied in and just want to use it for the Olympics.

Get NordVPN now


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