The ice hockey tournament is in full swing and there are already competitions in alpine skiing, curling, figure skating, tobogganing, and ski jumping, but medals are not yet being awarded in Beijing. It is mainly the day of the opening ceremony, which will start at 1 p.m. (Dutch time) in a probably packed national stadium, better known as the Vogelnest (capacity: 90,000 spectators).
The Dutch flag is carried by seventeen-year-old figure fighter Lindsay van Zundert and speed skater Kjeld Nuis. Van Zundert is the youngest athlete in the Dutch team, which consists of 42 winter sports enthusiasts
Saturday 5 February: a first golden opportunity for Schouten
The day after the opening ceremony, all eyes are on speed skater Irene Schouten. The 29-year-old Andijkse gets her first chance at Olympic gold in the 3,000 meters (start at 9.30 am). For the best stayer in the Netherlands, this could just be a prelude to a unique quartet in Beijing.
With, among others, Suzanne Schulting and Sjinkie Knegt on the team, the short trackers can also provide the Netherlands with a medal in the mixed relay, of which the quarterfinals start at 13:23. Schulting (500 meters) and Knegt (1,000 meters) had already appeared on the ice for the first time in the preliminary rounds of the individual numbers.