Curling got the Beijing Winter Olympics started on Wednesday in front of a smattering of spectators as China tried to move on from the diplomatic boycotts and COVID-19 fears that have dogged the lead-up to the Games.

The Olympics do not officially launch until Friday's opening ceremony, but the action began with mixed doubles curling at the "Ice Cube" — which was known as the "Water Cube" when the Chinese capital hosted the 2008 Summer Games — in front of a limited number of masked fans.

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