Members of the International Olympic Committee's Coordination Commission who completed a second visit to the Beijing area on Tuesday said they remain convinced of the area's ability to host a successful Olympic Winter Games with long-lasting benefits in 2022.
The two-day visit, including field inspections of four venues and a meeting with the Beijing 2022 organizing committee, was intended to oversee the area's preparations for the Winter Olympics and Paralympic Games.
The plans include sustainability and reuse of refurbished facilities, such as those built for the 2008 Summer Games, as well as incorporating the region's economic and social development.
"We are very pleased with the progress made by Beijing 2022 to deliver a successful, athlete-centered Olympic Winter Games. This visit has given us full confidence that this ambition will be realized," Alexander Zhukov, chair of the commission, said at the closing news conference on Tuesday.
Sites visited by the commission on Monday were the National Speed Skating Oval, the Wukesong Arena, Capital Gymnasium and the organizing committee's headquarters at Shougang Industry Park, which will be used by the community after the Games. On Tuesday, they listened to briefings from Beijing 2022 in six aspects such as updates on venue design, construction and marketing.
"It's impressive to see how Beijing 2022 has not only capitalized on the legacy from 2008 but has also integrated long-lasting, sustainable benefits," said Zhukov, an IOC member and the president of Russian Olympic Committee.
Beijing will stage all events on ice, including ice hockey and skating, at downtown venues including Wukesong the basketball arena for 2008－and the newly built Speed Skating Oval.
Northwest Beijing's Yanqing county is to host Alpine skiing, bobsleigh, skeleton and luge, while co-host city Zhangjiakou in Hebei province will stage the remaining skiing events at existing facilities that will be upgraded.
Zhang Jiandong, executive vice-president of the Beijing 2022 organizing committee, said all venue design, construction and infrastructure, including the Beijing-Zhangjiakou high-speed railway, are on schedule.
"We are expecting to complete all the construction of competition venues and transport and (electrical) power infrastructure by the end of 2019," Zhang said.
To guarantee the standards of facilities for technically demanding sports such as bobsled and luge, the Beijing organizing committee has remained in close contact with international winter sports federations for their expertise, Zhang added.
He also listed a series of imminent tasks for Beijing 2022 such as unveiling official emblems of the Games by the end of 2017, implementation of marketing programs and the talent development project.
The involvement of athletes in preparation for 2022 shows a commitment to deliver athlete-centered Games, Zhukov said.
"This is very important as their effort and input is essential to ensuring that the athletes' experience is second to none," Zhukov said.
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