The ceremony kicked off at 20:00 hours, local time, at the “Bird’s Nest” Olympic Stadium, with only a few guests and strict epidemiological measures to prevent Covid-19 contagions.
The gala is being attended by President Xi Jinping and 30 government leaders, as well as members of the royalty and international organizations.
Some few hours before, the host president received the distinguished guests and entertained them with a welcome dinner.
Presidents Vladimir Putin (Russia), Kassym-Jomart Tokayev (Kazakhstan), Abdel Fattah el-Sisi (Egypt), Andrzej Duda (Poland), Aleksandar Vucic (Serbia), Alberto Fernandez (Argentina), Guillermo Lasso (Ecuador) and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, among others, attended the reception.
More than 2,900 athletes from 91 delegations will be competing in these Winter Olympic Games, which will last until February 20.
The Paralympic Games will be held from March 4 to 13.