COVID-19, marathon flight make traveling to Winter Olympics a test in endurance for KSL crew

Feb 3, 2022, 10:08 PM | Updated: Jun 13, 2022, 3:53 pm

BEIJING – The entire sporting world is focused on Beijing, and the 2022 Winter Olympics have finally arrived. Some competitions started Thursday and the opening ceremony was set for Friday.

COVID-19 has changed everything, and it’s something China is taking extremely seriously.

Chinese authorities limited news crews to only their live shot locations, hotels, newsrooms and competition venues.

There are no restaurants, no tourist sites, no shopping areas and no going out into public.

The KSL crew spent two days in Los Angeles making sure all the required paperwork was good to go and taking two COVID-19 tests to get into China. Both tests were negative.

From the airport, it was a 13.5-hour flight to Seoul, South Korea, where the flight crews changed out and the plane fueled up for another 90-minute flight to China.

The KSL crew arrived in Beijing around midnight, but adrenaline kept them going.

Alex Cabrero said after he landed the welcome signs were nice and the experienced Olympic reporter said it looked like an Olympics arrival — but right away, it felt different.

The huge airport was empty, as most are that early in the morning. But many areas were closed off, and they saw workers in full hazmat suits. COVID-19 restrictions were visibly tight.

It took about an hour to gather equipment and get through different check stations before buses took them to their hotel.

“We can’t leave our hotel until we get the clearance that our latest test here was negative,” Cabrero said. “Our COVID test negative.”

At the hotel, a robot was disinfecting the air.

After getting their negative COVID-19 clearance, they still had to wait another day for contact tracing concerns before they were allowed out.

Nearly 22 million people live in Beijing but the streets remain empty. Security is everywhere, but the venues are ready to go.

There is no doubt the 2022 Olympics are going to happen.

China will make sure of it.

KSL 5 TV Live


The Peaks Ice Arena in Provo, Utah Jan. 2001. (Deseret News/Ravell Call)...

Lindsay Aerts

Peak’s Ice Arena in Provo to get Olympic upgrades

With the Olympics of 2034 focused largely in Salt Lake, the venues outside of the downtown will also need some attention.

3 days ago

The inversion as seen from Salt Lake City on Nov. 29, 2023. (Jack Grimm, KSL TV)...

Debbie Worthen and Mary Culbertson, KSL TV

Utah leaders face uphill battle on clean air before 2034 Olympic Games

Part of Utah's agreement with IOC requires clean air for the Olympic Games in 2034 if Salt Lake is to host. Leaders have ambitious plans for the next decade in attempt to make it happen.

4 days ago

A picture of Powder, the official Olympic mascot in 2002, who was played by Heather Mickey, picture...

Mary Culbertson and Andrew Adams, KSL TV

2002 Olympic mascot reflects on her time as Powder after big announcement

An official Olympic mascot looks back on her time during the Games in 2002, and talks about what excites her for 2034.

4 days ago

The news of the Winter Games coming to Salt Lake City in 2034 was huge for young Utah athletes with...

Dan Rascon

Young athletes excited, looking forward to 2034 Olympics

The news of the Winter Games coming to Salt Lake City in 2034 was huge for young Utah athletes with Olympic dreams on their mind.

5 days ago

State leaders reacted to the International Olympic Committee announcing Salt Lake City as a preferr...

Mark Jones

State leaders react to news of Olympics on verge of returning to Utah

State leaders went to social media on Wednesday to share their thoughts on Utah being named a preferred host by the IOC to hos the 2034 Winter Games.

5 days ago

FILE: The Olympic Rings sit on display outside the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Headquarte...

Josh Ellis

Salt Lake City named preferred host for 2034 Winter Olympics

Utah's bid to host another Winter Olympics cleared a massive hurdle on Wednesday, being named the preferred host for the 2034 Games.

5 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Design mockup half in white and half in color of luxury house interior with open plan living room a...

Lighting Design

Lighting Design 101: Learn the Basics

These lighting design basics will help you when designing your home, so you can meet both practical and aesthetic needs.

an antler with large horns int he wilderness...

Three Bear Lodge

Yellowstone in the Fall: A Wildlife Spectacle Worth Witnessing

While most people travel to this park in the summer, late fall in Yellowstone provides a wealth of highlights to make a memorable experience.

a diverse group of students raising their hands in a classroom...

Little Orchard Preschool

6 Benefits of Preschool for Kids

Some of the benefits of preschool for kids include developing independence, curiosity, and learning more about the world.

COVID-19, marathon flight make traveling to Winter Olympics a test in endurance for KSL crew