Tuesday, June 25, 2024
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All set and ready to go

James Kon

The Olympic Games Winter Beijing 2022 is set to take place in less than a month, from February 4-20, followed by the Winter Paralympics from March 4-13.

It will be the first time the Chinese capital is set to become the first city to host both the summer and winter editions of the Olympic Games. The 2008 Summer Olympics was also hosted in Beijing.

On January 4, Chinese President Xi Jinping inspected the preparations for the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Beijing.

He visited the national speed skating oval, main media centre, athletes’ village, games-time operations command centre and a winter sports training base, learning about Games preparatory work as well as Chinese athletes’ preparations for the Games.

Xi also extended New Year greetings to athletes, coaches, volunteers and representatives of operation teams, media and scientific research staff.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin during a press conference said, “You may have all noted that President Xi said in his New Year address that ‘We will spare no effort to present a great Games to the world’. On the first working day after the New Year holiday, President Xi made another field trip to inspect the preparations for the Olympic and Paralympic Games. This fully demonstrates that the Party and the Chinese Government give priority to the preparations and sends three key messages to the international community.”

Workers deliver a cart loaded with equipment to a commercial plaza at the Winter Olympic Village in Beijing. PHOTO: AP

First, he stated, “China honours its word. President Xi stressed that it is China’s solemn pledge to ensure the Beijing Winter Olympics and Paralympics are ‘a full success’. For more than six years since Beijing won the bid to host the Olympic Games, China has been focussing on popularising winter sports southward, westward and eastward.

“As a result, more Chinese have set foot on ice rinks and snow resorts, making winter sports popular and meeting the objective of ‘involving 300 million people in winter sports’. The principles of hosting a ‘green, inclusive, open and clean’ Olympic Games have been effectively implemented in constructing the venues, organising the events and providing services for the Games.”

Second, he said, “China is ready. After years of efforts, preparations are basically all set. In terms of events organisation, the ‘Experience Beijing’ test matches have successfully concluded. All 12 sports venues in Beijing, Yanqing and Zhangjiakou have been built and put into use with Global Association of International Sports Federation’s certification.

“The service and support system have been completed, covering the Olympic Village, volunteers, media centre, medical assistance and contract hotels.”

For the third point, he said, “China is confident that we will hold a safe Olympic Games. The International Olympic Committee (IOC), the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and the Beijing Organising Committee for the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games have published two editions of the Beijing 2022 Playbooks.

“Following the requirements of the playbooks, the Chinese side is optimising the area-based double closed-loop management process tailored for different categories of participants and strictly implementing the epidemic control protocols.

“China will take science-based, targetted epidemic prevention and control measures, make utmost effort to prevent infection and ensure the health and safety of all personnel attending the Beijing 2022.

“In his New Year’s Message 2022, IOC President Thomas Bach said that ‘we are looking forward to successful Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 and have great confidence that we will stage safe and secure Olympic Winter Games for everybody’.

“Polish Ski Association (PZN) President Apoloniusz Tajner said that China made the right decision to apply strict COVID-19 restrictions and thanks to that ‘I will feel safe during the competition in Beijing’.

“All these reflect the shared voice of the international community in looking forward to the Beijing 2022 and the international community’s confidence in a safe and secure Olympic Games to be hosted by China.”

In addition, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian in a recent statement also highlighted, “The year 2021 has been a crucial year with preparatory work on all fronts progressing steadily towards full completion.”

“It has been a year of many major events in the Olympic calendar. For example, all competition venues for the Games were made ready; the Olympic torch for Beijing 2022 bearing the name ‘Flying’ was introduced to the world; the official motto ‘Together for a Shared Future’ and official posters were released; the flame lighting, handover and welcome ceremonies were held successfully; the Olympic and Paralympic medals named ‘Tongxin’ as well as uniforms and gear were all unveiled; and ice-sports test events were successfully held.”

While advancing efficient and high-level preparation for the Games, he added, “We have also ensured solid epidemic prevention and control to protect the safety and health of all personnel participating in the Games as well as the public.”

Excellent preparatory work for the Beijing Winter Olympics were also seen with athletes and people from many countries including international organisations looking forward to the Beijing Olympics. Preparation for the Games has entered the home stretch.

Beijing, a city to host both the Summer and Winter Olympics, will present a streamlined, safe and splendid event for the world.

On December 14, 2021, Vice-Premier Han Zheng, also a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and head of a leading group overseeing the Beijing 2022 preparations, stressed “the need to prioritise prevention and control of the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure a simple, safe and splendid 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games”.

Han also noted that the pandemic is a stern test for Games organisers, and urged everyone to stay vigilant at all times and strictly follow COVID-19 counter-measures.

Han inspected several venues during a tour in Beijing on December 14, including the National Speed Skating Oval, the Winter Olympic Village, the Main Media Centre, the National Indoor Stadium and the National Aquatics Centre.

Another landmark achievement for the Olympic Games Winter Beijing 2022 is the use of new cutting edge technologies whereby Beijing is aspiring to stage smart Winter Olympics.

According to the Embassy of China News Bulletin, from competition facilities and sports equipment to support services, the development of the Olympic Winter Games is inseparable from science and technology.

Now, winter sports can reach a wider audience thanks to the constant sci-tech upgrading, and athletes are further empowered to set world records.

From the 5th Winter Olympics in St Moritz, Switzerland, to the 23rd Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, Korea, more accurate timing, more advanced sports equipment, and ultra-high-definition live broadcasts have all added appeal to the Games.

For the upcoming Winter Olympics Beijing 2022, several new technologies will underpin its smooth running. During the 24th Winter Olympics, full 5G coverage will be achieved in and around the Olympic venues.

The National Olympic Sports Centre, Yanqing Competition Zone, and Shougang Industrial Park will be built into three innovative demonstration parks, providing automated vehicle sales, delivery, cleaning, and supermarket services.

In addition, intelligent robots will be introduced in the Olympic venues and relevant scenic spots to offer luggage delivery and other assistance for athletes and coaches.

The big data platform of the Olympic Villages pools information on security, environment, energy consumption, and other intelligent services to respond to emergencies promptly.

In terms of environmental protection, energy-saving and clean energy vehicles will be employed to provide traffic services, including hydrogen-powered buses, pure electric cars, and hybrid ones. As high as 85.84 per cent of the total vehicles will be clean during the Olympics, setting a new record from the previous version.

In addition, key technologies will ensure efficient and effective meteorological services for the events, including advanced 3D meteorological monitoring by the second and accurate weather forecasting by 10 minutes in a range of 100 metres.

The organisers will also utilise China’s self-developed high-speed moving target tracking and camera shooting system. The system can quickly locate the target and automatically track and film the Olympic downhill skiers who move at a high speed of 170 kilometres per hour.