Samaranch praises Beijing 2022 preparations as winter sports become reality in China
Beijing 2022, the organising committee for the 2022 winter Olympic Games has “heard and implemented” advice from the International Olympic Committee on producing an “intelligent games plan that is reasonable, responsible and that will result in a positive economic impact,” according to Juan Antonio Samaranch, chair of the IOC’s co-ordination commission.
Speaking in the wake of a two-day visit by the commission, Samaranch said: “Hosting the Olympic Winter Games provides an opportunity to update venues and adapt them for multi-purpose use, this in addition to the creation of new tourist destinations and recreational facilities that will be open to the public. In this capacity, the Olympic Winter Games 2022 are acting as a catalyst to help Beijing meet its developmental needs.”
Zhang Jiandong, Beijing 2022’s executive vice-president, said: “With the Olympic Winter Games having now officially entered the ‘Beijing Cycle’, and only 16 months to go until the first test events, the amount of work, pace and standards expected of the Organising Committee has increased significantly.
“The Organising Committee is now more focused than ever on the goal of delivering a ‘fantastic, extraordinary and excellent’ Winter Games which are ‘green, inclusive, open and clean’. The central government of China attaches great importance to the preparations for Beijing 2022, while the Beijing municipal government and Hebei provincial government treat the Games as a top priority in their work.”
Samaranch later told a press conference that the commission is “very comfortable and extremely confident in the work that is being done,” adding that some venues from the 2008 Beijing Olympics will be re-used and that “construction and planning for additional venues is also moving strongly.”
The region plans to develop the area into a winter sports location, with the government set to extend motorways and complete a high-speed train line to the province to ensure that the general population will have greater access to snow sports facilities.
Samaranch pointed out that the development of winter sports in China is “becoming a reality rapidly, not even waiting for 2022. The number of practitioners of winter sports in this part of the world has grown three-fold in the last two years, counting by the number of visitors to the ski resorts in the vicinity.”