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Games success underpinned by sustainable development

China Daily | Updated: 2022-03-18 09:09
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The opening ceremony of Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics Games kicks off at National Stadium in Beijing on Feb 4, 2022. [Photo/Xinhua]

The Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games impressed the world with China's organization and its athletes' performances, while the Games' legacy will further underpin the Beijing 2022 motto "Together for a Shared Future".

Under the Olympic Agenda 2020, Beijing 2022 organizers delivered a legacy plan and committed to a "green, inclusive, open and clean" Games. The legacy plan is now being rolled out to incorporate various aspects of social development with the aim of reaching the widest possible range of people.

"Sustainable development is China's national strategy and also one of the pillars of the Olympic Agenda 2020. Six venues originally constructed for the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics were reused at Beijing 2022, and there are post-Games plans in place for all newly developed venues," said Li Sen, director-general of the general planning department of the Beijing 2022 organizing committee (BOCOG).

During the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Games, China's annual two sessions were held in Beijing. The key political event convenes the country's National People's Congress (NPC) and the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), China's top political consultative body.

NPC deputies and CPPCC members paid tribute to Team China's overall performance at Beijing 2022, and also discussed the long-term development of Chinese winter sports.

Shen Jin, a CPPCC member and deputy director of BOCOG's venue planning and construction department, said: "After the Games, the venues will not only be used to organize high-level winter sports events and training, but will also host exhibitions and conferences."

According to BOCOG, all venues for the Winter Olympics and Paralympics will be open to the public.

The National Alpine Skiing Center, for instance, will be open all year round. In addition to being a ski resort in winter, it will be used in summer months for activities such as rock climbing and hiking.

"The venues are the basis of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, but more importantly, we need staff and technical officials in operation," said Wang Yanxia, a CPPCC member and deputy director of BOCOG's sports department.

"When we bid for the Beijing Winter Olympics, there was still a shortage of professionals in winter sports, including technical officials, ice makers and ski doctors," Wang said. "However, over the past seven years, we have cultivated a sufficient number of people capable of running the Games. They are a valuable group of talents for the development of winter sports in the future."

Creating long-term benefits for host cities and regions is testament to the success of Beijing 2022. As the first Games to adhere to the Olympic Agenda 2020 from its early planning stages, Beijing 2022 was treated as a precious opportunity to popularize winter sports nationwide.

Significantly, China exceeded a target of engaging 300 million people in winter sports in the buildup to the Games. "This extraordinary achievement is the start of a new era for global winter sports. It will raise global participation to new levels, benefiting Chinese people as well as winter sports enthusiasts around the world," said Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee.

"We delivered an exceptional Games and inspired young people to participate in winter sports. Follow-up measures should be implemented to consolidate this feat and further expand winter sports education," said Yang Yang, a CPPCC member and chair of the athletes' commission for Beijing 2022.

"The volunteers' warm smiles at Beijing 2022 allowed people from all over the world to feel the hospitality of Chinese people. This volunteer spirit should be carried forward as an Olympic legacy to benefit more fields in our society," added Yang, who won China's first ever Winter Olympic gold medal at Salt Lake City 2002.

Bian Zhiliang, a CPPCC member and the CEO of Taishan Sports Industry Group in East China's Shandong province, has witnessed the development of China's sports industry over the past decade, and said: "Beijing 2008 was a landmark event, putting China's sports industry on the fast track. This will be further accelerated by the abundant legacies of Beijing 2022."


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