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International acclaim for Games' solidarity, sportsmanship

China Daily | Updated: 2022-02-22 09:45
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Athletes compete during the cross-country skiing women's 30km mass start free of Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics at National Cross-Country Skiing Centre in Zhangjiakou, North China's Hebei province, Feb 20, 2022. [Photo/Xinhua]

Athletes, officials and academics have heaped praise on the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics as an extraordinary showcase of sportsmanship and solidarity.

Bosnia and Herzegovina's luger Mirza Nikolajev became known to many Chinese for his wink to the cameras during the opening ceremony, which went viral on social media.

At the Olympic Village "everybody was always so cheerful and smiling all the time. They did their best to make you feel at home," Nikolajev said in a video interview.

"I am so happy that I had a chance to represent my country. Not in the light that I wanted to, but still this was an amazing experience."

Turkish short-track speed skater Furkan Akar said the Olympic Village was full of fun and he enjoyed the food there. "I had a great time in Beijing," said Akar.

Turkish National Olympic Committee sports director Erdem Dogan praised Games organizers for their effective COVID-19 response and excellent services.

The pandemic prevention and control measures were very scientific, which ensured athletes could train and compete in a safe environment, said Dogan.

"The work of the volunteers here has been incomparable, in terms of both efficiency and flexible working hours ... Their work was very successful," the Turkish official added.

Romania's Raluca Stramaturaru, who competed in the luge team relay, said that Beijing 2022 was the best Olympics she has ever participated in.

Martin Begino, head of the Argentina delegation, spoke highly of the preparation and organization of the Games.

As evidenced by Beijing 2022's outstanding infrastructure, China attaches great importance to the preparation and organization of the Games, said Begino, adding that the organizing committee was attentive and solved any problems that delegations had as quickly as possible.

The 24th Olympic Winter Games deserve the highest praise, said Yevgeny Zaitsev, head of the Center for Russian-Chinese Studies at Lomonosov Moscow State University.

Despite the difficulties caused by the pandemic, China fulfilled its pre-Games pledges, delivering a green, inclusive, open and clean Winter Olympics, Zaitsev told Xinhua in a written interview.

Han Zhebin (3rd L), a volunteer of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, takes part in a briefing on photographing work at National Biathlon Centre in Zhangjiakou, North China's Hebei province, Feb 11, 2022. [Photo/Xinhua]

Zaitsev said the Olympic motto of "Faster, Higher, Stronger-Together" was much in evidence throughout Beijing 2022, and the sportsmanship of athletes who overcame various difficulties to push their limits inspired the world.

An exchange of gifts between American and Chinese curlers following their mixed doubles round-robin match impressed Gerald Mbanda, a Rwandan researcher and publisher.

In his article published recently on the Rwanda-based Africa-China Review news website, Mbanda said "this was the best spirit of sportsmanship" and "sent a strong message" to the world.

Kimmo Suomi, professor emeritus of sports planning at Finland's Jyvaskyla University, also had positive things to say about the Beijing Winter Olympics.

The opening ceremony was impressive and delivered the message that while the world is experiencing chaos caused by the pandemic, one could still live a relatively normal life at the Games, Suomi said in an interview with Xinhua.

China has showed the world its splendid preparation and superb managerial abilities, said Yuba Nath Lamsal, former chief editor of The Rising Nepal daily.


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