Beijing’s preparations for 2022 Winter Olympics off to a strong start

Beijing, Dec 27 (IANS) Beijing has wasted no time during the one and a half years since it won its bid to host the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games along with Zhangjiakou city in July, 2015.

The Beijing Organising Committee for the 2022 Games, which was launched last December, said in its annual report released last week that preparation work is on the right track and will be speeded up next year, reports Xinhua news agency.

Beijing’s work has been recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The IOC Coordination Commission held talks with the Beijing 2022 Organising Committee and visited several venues during their first meeting in Beijing in October, and said they were pleased with Beijing’s preparations.

The IOC also praised the sustainability of Beijing’s work, saying it illustrated the vision of the Olympic Agenda 2020.

The committee for Beijing 2022 has taken full advantage of the legacy of the Beijing 2008 Olympics and Paralympic Games — including repurposing existing competition venues, other infrastructure and drawing on the experience of professionals with deep operational experience.

According to the Beijing Organising Committee, venue construction will be started in 2017 and completed by 2019, and all the venues will be ready for test events in 2020.

There will be a total of 25 competition and non-competition venues for Beijing 2022. Twelve venues are in Beijing, among which 11 are legacies of the 2008 Olympic Games. The only new venue in Beijing will be the speed skating venue.

The conceptual design of the speed skating venue has been opened to international bidding and the final design will be selected soon. The construction will get underway next April.

The alpine ski competition will be held in Yanqing. Most of the courses for this event have been selected this year. Also in Chongli, the Gent Resort Secret Garden has built an Olympic standard half-pipe. Gent is the training base for the Chinese national half-pipe ski and snowboard teams, and will host the FIS Freestyle and Snowboard World Championships in 2021 as test events for the Olympic Games.

According to the Beijing Organising Committee, the emblem for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games will be unveiled in the second half of 2017, and marketing development will be underway soon.

The Beijing Organising Committee will launch first tier sponsorship recruitment in early 2017, and tier two in 2018. Exclusive sponsorship recruitment will start in 2019.

Beijing has also put in efforts to encourage participation in winter sports, as China has vowed to encourage 300 million people in China to take up winter sports ahead of the 2022 Games.

At the 128th IOC Session in Kuala Lumpur last July, Beijing, along with Zhangjiakou in Hebei Province, beat Kazakhstan’s Almaty to win its bid to co-host the 2022 Winter Olympics.

Beijing will become the first city in the world to host both the Summer and Winter Olympic Games.

–IANS

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