BEIJING, June 13 (Xinhua) -- The International Olympic Committee (IOC)'s Coordination Commission was pleased with the Beijing 2022 sustainability and legacy plans during its second meeting in China (June 12-13) to review the preparation for the Olympic Winter Games.
"Since our last visit, the Beijing 2022 Organizing Committee has made good progress in its preparations for sustainable Olympic Winter Games that will benefit the city, region and country for decades to come," Commission Chair Alexander Zhukov told a press conference here on Tuesday.
"It is very clear that the Chinese organizers have taken care to implement the spirit of Olympic Agenda 2020 throughout their preparations to host the Olympic Winter Games. I look forward to continued collaboration on these important topics under the leadership of Beijing 2022's new President Cai Qi, with whom we are already building a strong relationship."
The Coordination Commission visited four sites in Beijing this time - the new National Speed Skating Oval, the Capital Indoor Stadium, Wukesong Sports Centre and the Shougang Industry Park. The land where the Speed Skating Oval is to be built is already being prepared for construction work, and is expected to be completed by the end of 2019.
The Capital Indoor Stadium and Wukesong Arena were used during the Olympic Games in 2008, and will be repurposed for the Olympic Winter Games. This legacy from 2008 is already alive today, with the stadiums hosting international curling and ice hockey matches respectively in recent months.
The final stop on the tour was the Shougang Industry Park, which is a former steel mill that was closed down in 2008 ahead of the Beijing Summer Olympic Games. It is now the location of the Organising Committee's headquarters and is the proposed location for Big Air in 2022.
"Beijing 2022 has a vision to host an Olympic Winter Games that will provide long-term economic and social benefits for the region," Zhukov said. "It was impressive to see how the Organizing Committee has not only capitalized on the venue legacy from 2008, but has also integrated long-lasting sustainable solutions across its various priorities."
"We believe the meeting has been practical and effective, during which both sides had frank and in-depth exchanges regarding the preparatory work Beijing 2022 has done, allowing us to reach consensus on major issues," Beijing 2022's Executive Vice President Zhang Jiandong said.
On day two, Beijing 2022 gave a series of presentations that included updates on venue and competition plans for both the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, organizational structure, and advances made in marketing and communications projects.
The Organizing Committee last month finished its first worldwide recruitment for talents. A total of 22 staff members will be recruited for 21 positions, including 11 staff members to be recruited worldwide for 10 positions. Positions in this recruitment involve majors in planning and construction, venue management, marketing, media, finance, law and foreign languages.
Zhukov pointed out that the organizers have very good contacts with international winter sports federations. "It's very important to get the best expertise and specialist from all over the world. That's why the Organizing Committee should contact all international winter sports federations."
China is seizing the Games as an opportunity to promote winter sports. "The most important of the Winter Olympics in China is to create facilities for almost 300 million Chinese who are going to participate in different kinds of winter sports. We can see that a lot of children start playing hockey, biathlon, and cross-country skiing," Zhukov said.
The next full visit of the IOC's Coordination Commission to Beijing will be in 2018.