Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics: More than 1 million people apply to enter city’s Olympic bubble

Since applications opened nearly two years ago, more than 1 million people have applied to work unpaid at the Beijing Games, which will be held in February, state-run tabloid Global Times reported on Monday. Of that massive pool, nearly 20,000 volunteers were selected — mostly college students from Beijing and the surrounding Hebei province.

The flood of applicants reflects the excitement sweeping China, as Beijing prepares to become the first city to host both the Summer and Winter Olympics. It’s a major point of national pride, evident in grandiose official rhetoric and frequent state media coverage in the lead-up to the Games.

Ahead of the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics, similar hordes of eager citizens signed up to volunteer — with state media reporting more than 1.2 million applications.

But the upcoming Winter Games are taking place in a drastically different environment, with…

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