Global EditionASIA 中文双语Français
Home / Sports / CD special

Beijing keeps raising the bar

By SHI FUTIAN | China Daily | Updated: 2022-03-13 07:46
Share - WeChat
The combination of world-class venues and high-quality competitions have made the Beijing 2022 Winter Paralympics a real treat for participants and global audiences, with the International Paralympic Committee heaping praise on the efforts of local organizers. AFP/REUTERS

IPC praises organizing committee's 'incredible' job amid pandemic pressure

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has lavished praise on the Beijing 2022 organizers, saying the smooth running of the Winter Paralympics has "raised the bar" for future Games.

"Throughout the Games, the organizing committee has done an incredible job here. The feedback from the athletes, from the National Paralympic Committees (NPCs), from international federations and from the media have been excellent," said Andrew Parsons, president of the IPC, during a news conference at the Games' Main Media Centre on Saturday.

"We would really like to congratulate the organizing committee. It has been an incredible experience to work alongside them for the past seven years and especially the last two weeks here in Beijing."

Despite the pandemic threat and the short transition time from the end of the Winter Olympics in late February to the start of the Paralympics on March 4, the Beijing 2022 Organizing Committee (BOCOG) has still delivered on its promise to present the world "streamlined, safe and splendid" Games.

Prioritizing everyone's safety inside the closed loop, BOCOG has provided athletes with world-class venues, a comprehensive barrier-free environment, superb volunteer services and excellent living conditions at the Paralympic villages in all three competition zones-downtown Beijing, the capital's northwest Yanqing district and co-host Zhangjiakou, Hebei province.

"In terms of organization, these Games have been everything we could have wished for. For people like myself who were here at the 2008 Summer Games, we are absolutely sure that what these Games will represent for future Winter Games will be like what Beijing 2008 meant for the Summer Games,"Parsons added.

"That set the bar really high for future organizers. Yesterday I also paid a very simple tribute to the volunteers. I went to the para ice hockey match wearing the volunteer uniform and worked with them. It felt really good to be together with the volunteers and feel the same spirit."

Parsons was also keen to stress how the pandemic protocols and the closed-loop system have been key to the success of the Games.

"The countermeasures against COVID-19 were a great success," he added. "The concept of the closed loop and everything worked well. With very few (COVID-19) cases, we could not be happier with the result of the Playbook. Credit goes to everyone participating here."

With a safe environment to perform in, the para athletes have delivered awe-inspiring performances-in particular from the host nation.

Team China's wheelchair curling gold at the 2018 Pyeongchang Games was the country's first Winter Paralympic title. But in Beijing the host will finish top of the medal standings. By Saturday, it had accumulated 18 gold medals, with one more day's action to come.

"I remember I was at the wheelchair curling final in Pyeongchang 2018. And the emotion of the Chinese team winning the first gold medal was amazing and incredible," Parsons recalled.

"And now just see how many gold medals and medals in general the Chinese team has won. I think that shows how efficient Team China is in identifying and recruiting talents and then developing them.

"But to all NPCs involved, we have seen amazing sports. For two years, they have trained with the pandemic situation, which is just incredible. The two seasons before the Beijing Winter Paralympics have been affected. And still their performances here are incredible."

The IPC says the success of Beijing 2022 gives the Winter Paralympics a solid foundation to further expand.

"We really want to increase the size and scale of the Winter Games. There's a lot of work going on behind the scenes to increase participation and hopefully that will result in more countries. We're heading in the right direction," said Craig Spence, the IPC's chief brand and communications officer.

"For example, World Para Ice Hockey is working hard at the moment on developing a women's program. We really want to increase the number of female participants in winter sports."

Most Popular


What's Hot
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349