Beijing’s preparation for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games has impressed the International Olympic Committee’s coordination commission for its emphasis on sustainability and legacy.
The commission concluded its first, three-day visit to Beijing on Oct 12 after on-site investigations at venue zones in downtown Beijing, Yanqing county, and Games co-host Zhangjiakou in Hebei province.
The commission also discussed such points as governance and infrastructure with local organizers.
Juan Antonio Samaranch, IOC vice-president, a commission member and son of the late IOC president, praised Beijing’s efforts.
“We are very pleased with what we’ve seen, and we’ve learned that Beijing 2022 has been off to a fast start. The initial preparations are well on track,” Samaranch said on Oct 12.
Beijing’s plan to make full use of existing facilities is among the highlights of its preparatory work, said Samaranch.
“The venues of the 2008 Olympic Games (proposed for reuse in 2022) are demonstrations that the Games are a useful tool for Beijing to reach this very long-term objective,” he said.
The only new, permanent venue to be built in Beijing is the National Speed Skating Oval. Construction starts in April.
“During the commission’s visit, we held in-depth and effective discussions and reached consensus on a wide range of aspects, and further defined the directions and priorities for the Games’ preparation. We have achieved fruitful results,” said Zhang Jiandong, executive vice-president of Beijing 2022.
China, a world power in figure skating and short-track speedskating, will provide more financial support and invite foreign expertise to improve less popular events such as Alpine skiing and luge before 2022, said Yang Shuan, vice-president of Beijing 2022.