By Zheng Yi, Ji Fang, People’s Daily
Preparations for the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games, which are scheduled to arrive in less than 100 days, have entered a critical stage characterized by high gear, general readiness and decisive homestretch.
Venues and facilities for the event have not only been constructed, but will be optimized for better services; the coordinated development of Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region and industry upgrading have witnessed new drivers and marched onto a fast lane because of the Winter Olympics; and people look forward to and are more than willing to be a part of the sports event—all indicating that China’s dream of hosting a fantastic, extraordinary and excellent Winter Olympics is gradually turning into a reality.
All 12 competition venues for the Beijing 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games full of technological innovations are basically prepared, and operation teams of the venues have already switched to a work mode for the grand sports event.
The construction and improvement of non-competition venues is gathering pace, with the three Olympic Villages neatly designed. Besides, the renovation of venues for the opening and closing ceremonies of the Beijing 2022 will soon be completed.
The Beijing, Yanqing, and Zhangjiakou competition zones of the Beijing 2022 are all ready to welcome athletes from across the world with open arms.
One of the highlights of the venues for the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games is their pursuit of green and sustainable development.
All venues will be powered by green electricity, and ice-making technology with nearly zero carbon emissions has been adopted. Meanwhile, Beijing has done its utmost to reuse the venues and facilities for the 2008 Summer Olympics, including innovatively changing the former Water Cube, an aquatics competition venue in 2008, into a winter sports venue now known as the Ice Cube.
The Beijing-Zhangjiakou high-speed railway, with a top speed of 350 kph, has made it possible to travel from Beijing to Zhangjiakou within one hour; and the Yanqing-Chongli expressway that stretches among green mountains and lucid waters has connected the Yanqing and Zhangjiakou competition zones.
An improving inter-city transportation network and joint prevention and governance of the ecological environment of Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei will not only improve the quality of the Winter Olympics, but will fuel the coordinated development of the three regions.
Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), believed that the 2022 Olympic Winter Games was “placed in safe hands” when Beijing won the bid in 2015.
With strong determination and confidence, China intends to show the world that it is a country true to its words. “We are confident in the success of the Beijing Winter Olympics,” Bach said recently ahead of the 100-day countdown for the opening of the event.
From Oct. 5 to the end of December, a series of test events, including 10 international competitions, three international training weeks, and two domestic testing activities, have been held or will be held at eight competition venues at the Beijing, Yanqing, and Zhangjiakou competition zones, which involve over 2,000 overseas athletes, team officials and other personnel.
From closed-loop management throughout the whole process for epidemic prevention and control to an operation standard the same as that for the 2022 Winter Olympics, the test events that aim to trial the venues from different aspects will lay a solid underpinning for the safe and smooth hosting of Beijing 2022 as scheduled.
The IOC has received “unanimously positive” feedback from athletes in the Beijing 2022 test series, according to IOC sports director Kit McConnell.
The venues they were experiencing in Beijing are absolutely outstanding, noted McConnell. “There is a lot of excitement from them, not only regarding the participation at these events but looking forward to their participation in Beijing in just a few months. It is great to see their feedback both on the technical side and their personal excitement,” he said.
Although the venues and facilities have received positive feedback, the Beijing Organising Committee for the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games has strived for further improvement.
According to an executive with the committee, by closing existing loopholes and spotting and strengthening weaknesses, teams are accumulating experience to ensure that they will deliver their best performance in Beijing 2022.
On Oct. 25, the IOC, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and the Beijing Organizing Committee for the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games published the first editions of the Beijing 2022 playbooks, which, based on extensive discussions and full consultation among parties involved, will provide participants with instructions on ensuring safety amid the pandemic so as to be well equipped for taking part in the sports event in China.
Independent innovations are widely seen during the organization of the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
More and more snowmakers and snowcats used in snow packs are made by Chinese companies; nearly 20 ice and snow equipment parks are under construction or planned to be built across China; and winter sports athletes are able to perfect their technical details with home-made wind tunnels. By leveraging the opportunities provided by the Beijing 2022, China has established a “coordinate system” for the development of ice and snow industry.
While integrating the preparations for the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games into urban development, ecological construction and pursuing people’s well-being, the grand sports event is increasingly showing its influence that radiates to many fields.
The Olympic effect can contribute to the host city in 20 years and even more, and promote the benign interaction between the Olympic Games and the host city, according to Christopher Dolby, executive director of the Olympic Department of the IOC, who believes that Beijing has successfully brought out the Olympic effect.