Alexander Zhukov (center left), chairman of the International Olympic Committee’s evaluation commission, and Guo Jinlong, Party chief of Beijing, greet a primary school student after a wrap-up news conference for the commission’s inspection visit to Beijing on March 28.[Photo by Feng Yongbin/China Daily]
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) Evaluation Commission has just completed their visit to Beijing, which is bidding to host the 2022 Winter Olympics with Zhangjiakou, and is pleased with what they found.
“It was clear that you embraced the spirit and goals of Olympic Agenda 2020. Our visit confirms that Beijing is capable of hosting a successful 2022 Olympic Winter Games,” said Alexander Zhukov, the chief of the evaluation commission.
“This week, you have presented your concept for 2022 in a very considered and collaborative way.
“The great passion that exists here for the Olympic Games has been inspiring. For this reason I am sure that — regardless of the outcome in July — your ambitious plans for the future of Beijing and the development of winter sport in your country will be realized,” he added.
During the past five days, the 19-member IOC evaluation commission visited venues in the Beijing, Yanqing and Zhangjiakou clusters that make up the city’s bid plan to host the Games, and examined the 14 themes of the IOC’s candidacy questionnaire, which include topics such as vision, legacy and engagement, transportation, accommodation, finance and sustainability.
Beijing is in a two-horse race with Almaty, Kazakhstan, following the withdrawal of a number of bidders. On paper, the odds seem stacked in favor of Beijing.
Beijing has developed an athlete-centred, sustainable and economical Games concept, which is in line with the latest IOC reforms, and the Chinese capital will capitalize on the legacies of the successful Beijing 2008 Summer Games, including existing venues, city’s well-developed infrastructure and experience of hosting major international events.
The Beijing 2022 Bid Committee confirmed that the key infrastructure required to host the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games is already in place, supported by the region’s status as a modern world-class destination for tourism and business with a strong experience in hosting international events.
The three-zone plan will see Beijing host opening and closing ceremonies as well as all ice sports while Yanqing and Zhangjiakou will host snow competitions.
Each zone will also offer a unique and rich experience to the athletes, Olympic family and fans, with Beijing boasting exceptional history, culture and entertainment of a popular international tourism destination, while Yanqing and Zhangjiakou offering a natural beauty paired with stunning views of the Great Wall which serves as a unique setting for snow competitions.
Beijing’s quick and efficient transportation, world-class hotels, cosmopolitan cuisine and spectacular sightseeing will provide a truly joyful Games experience where spectators would be able to enjoy winter sports scenery and the drive of a modern cosmopolitan city all in one day.
Beijing has plans to host both the International Broadcast Center (IBC) and Main Press Center (MPC) within the China National Convention Center (CNCC), which was the IBC for the 2008 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Without the need for additional construction or alteration, the CNCC already fully meets the IOC’s space and technical requirements.
Yanqing and Zhangjiakou will feature their own dedicated Mountain Media Centres, with these environmentally-friendly temporary facilities set to be dismantled and removed after the Games. Both centers will be located within a walking distance from the venues.
China is dedicated to establishing a fully all-year-round sports culture and developing its huge winter sports market potential by encouraging public participation.
In this way, Beijing 2022 will also help promote healthy lifestyle across China. Beijing 2022 will directly contribute to creating approximately 600,000 additional jobs within the plan to develop sport, culture and tourism in the region, and provide a significant boost to the development of China’s winter sports industry.
All Beijing 2022 snow venues will remain a legacy for the Olympic Movement worldwide and will continue to serve as both domestic and international competition and training venues, while the ongoing development of leisure skiing tourism in the area is also expected to be significantly boosted by the Games.
“The Beijing 2022 Bid Committee will follow the guidance provided by the IOC Evaluation Commission to further strengthen our plan for the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games and we guarantee that all commitments that were made in the Candidature File and during the past week of the visit will be fully met,” said Guo Jinlong, secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Beijing Municipal Committee.
“All the Bid plans are embedded in our region’s long-term development plans and China’s stable economy means that all investments will be guaranteed. We are looking for a win-win benefit for the Olympic Movement and China.”
The IOC Evaluation Commission will on June 1 release a comprehensive assessment report following their visits to Beijing and Almaty, earlier this year. The IOC will announce the host city on July 31 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.