Vice-Premier Liu Yandong speaks to the media after the presentation of Beijing’s bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics to the International Olympic Committee on June 9 at the IOC Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland.[Photo/Xinhua]
Vice-Premier Liu Yandong reiterated Beijing’s offer of assured Games delivery and great prospects for winter sports during a presentation to the International Olympic Committee on June 9.
An eight-member panel put forward the capital’s case at the 2022 Olympic Winter Games Candidate City Briefing in Lausanne, Switzerland. Beijing is bidding jointly with Zhangjiakou in Hebei province to stage the 2022 event.
The panel members said the bid embraces the principles of the Olympic Agenda 2020, a strategic road map for the future of the Olympic Movement, through its concept of an athlete-centered, sustainable and economical Games.
It also promises to provide “an opportunity to grow winter sports in one of the biggest markets in the world, as well as an enjoyable atmosphere of a big cosmopolitan city and an exceptional mountain setting at the foot of the Great Wall”.
Liu said, “Beijing 2022 offers the chance to stage the world’s greatest winter sports event against a backdrop of spectacular Chinese landscape, history and culture. We will honor every commitment we made. We are a safe and reliable choice.”
After the briefing, Liu added: “We have just enjoyed a very effective communication with the IOC members. We shared all of our ideas on Beijing’s Bid for the Olympic Winter Games and fortunately all of our strengths were recognized by the IOC members. After this conversation with the IOC, we are now filled with even more confidence in our bid.”
The panel said the country is expanding the Chinese Olympic Museum and plans to hold an International Winter Sports Expo every year to share with the world the vast business opportunities in China’s thriving winter sports industry.
It also highlighted the passion for winter sports felt by young people in China.
“Nationwide support for our bid exceeds 90 percent, according to opinion polls by both the IOC and Beijing 2022,” Liu said. “The Chinese people, especially the energetic and enthusiastic younger generation, truly wish to host the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Beijing in 2022.”
Wang Anshun, the mayor of Beijing and president of the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games Bid Committee, described the exceptional legacy of the Beijing 2008 Summer Games and said the committee is seeking to contribute to the accountability of the Olympic Movement.
“The annual average use of the 2008 venues, including the Bird’s Nest and the Water Cube, exceeds 85 percent,” Wang said. “Over half of Beijing’s population regularly participates in sports. And over 2.6 million registered volunteers play important roles in city development, as well as in people’s lives.”
Turning to China’s financial ability to host a successful Games, the presentation emphasized that the financial plan for Beijing 2022 is responsible and practical, makes full use of existing venues and is validated by intense interest from both public and private enterprise investors. Enterprise finance comprises 65 percent of venue capital investment, reflecting the strong market economy.
Winter sports have been developing rapidly. The Chinese Olympic Committee has been implementing numerous promotional programs with dedicated budgets in an effort to attract 300 million people to ice and snow sports.
Beijing is competing with Almaty in Kazakhstan to host the Games. The winner will be announced next month.