北京2022年冬季奥林匹克运动会申办委员会

北京2022

Bid for Winter Olympics Nurtures Sports Superpower Dream
Source:Xinhua News 24/06/2014 18:33

While the Sochi Winter Olympic Games is well under way, the fight for the right to host the 2022 Olympic Winter Games has kicked off. Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games Bid Committee unveiled in Sochi the result of a survey conducted by a third-party institute, which shows strong public support among the people in Beijing and Zhangjiakou for the bid, with a rate of 94.8% and 99.5%, respectively. This more than illustrates the yearning of the bid cities for the Olympic Games, but also the dreams and determination of 1.3 billion Chinese people in building a sports superpower.

China will achieve the grand goal of building a comparatively prosperous society across the country by 2020, whereby the Gross Domestic Product and per capita income will double that of 2010. A prosperous society depends on personal health is a consensus share by the people. Never have the people demand so strongly for a higher level of sports and cultural life. The bid for the Olympic Winter Games happens at the right moment.

The giant leap in sports development in China is closely tied to reform and opening up of the country. When Beijing submitted the bid for its first Olympic Summer Games, it was during a critical period of socioeconomic development. Beijing had just successfully hosted the Asian Games, while the speeches given by Deng Xiaoping during his tour of southern China were inspiring and propelling the acceleration of reform and opening up. Despite the failure to win the bid in 1993, the bid instilled great confidence in the people and immensely motivated them to work even harder. This drew the attention of the world, and paved the way for Beijing’s successful bid for the 2008 Olympic Games 8 years later.

The joint bid of Beijing and Zhangjiakou for the Olympic Winter Games took place at the same time as the 3rd Plenary Session of the 18th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, which emphasised comprehensively deepening reforms to achieve sustainable development. China has, once again, stood at a historical starting point of new and greater development. The dreams of being a sports superpower and of China are closely intertwined. Together we should strive with the world to be a part of the Olympic Winter Games and inspire people with the Olympic spirit. Let 1.3 billion people experience the passion of ice and snow. The hard work of today shall benefit the many generations to come.

Give Beijing a chance and we will return the world a miracle. The capability and enthusiasm of Beijing to host the Olympic Games is undisputed. People would not forget that when Beijing won the bid for the Olympic Summer Games in 2001, it also enjoyed a public support rate of 94.9%. The city successfully hosted the unparalleled Games of the XXIX Olympiad in 2008, which was hailed as a milestone in the international Olympic Movement and the social development of China.

Whether it is the “Bird’s Nest” or the “Water Cube” or the 51 Olympic gold medals that had China ranked first, the Beijing Olympic Games left behind many tangible and intangible legacies. The most significant of all is the increased understanding between an opened up China and the world. The precious spiritual legacy of the Olympic Games: participation, fairness, understanding and volunteerism have taken root in this Divine Land.

The successful hosting of the Beijing Olympic Games has greatly propelled the development of competitive sports in China and prompted the country advancing towards a sports superpower.

From the simple pursuit of the Olympic gold medals to understanding the impact of gold medal events; from emphasising competitive sports to laying a solid foundation for mass and school sports; and from strong development in professional sports and sports industries to sports education and culture, sports and technology as well as the overall standard of use of venues and facilities; all of which have continued to improve and enrich the essence of building a sports superpower.

“Fitness for all and march with the Olympics” is the slogan that became popular around the country during the preparation for the Beijing Olympic Games. The enthusiasm that the wider public has for the Olympic Games was directed to personal participation in sports and fitness, which vibrantly illustrated a fundamental principle in the Olympic Charter that “the practice of sport is a human right”.

5 years after the staging of the Beijing Olympic Games, Beijing and Zhangjiakou have jointly submitted their bid for the Olympic Winter Games in 2013. The hundred-year-old Olympic dream of China has sublimed, and its dream of being a sports superpower set free.

The bid for the Olympic Winter Games has strong significance in that it promotes improvement in the structure of Chinese competitive sports and popularisation of previously underprivileged winter sports. Given the sheer expanse of Chinese territory, many regions are endowed with the weather conditions to launch ice and snow events, such as northeastern, northern, northwestern and southwestern China. However, currently only Heilongjiang and Jilin Provinces are being better exploited. Compare to the countless medals and surprises at the Olympic Summer Games, China only has advantages in countable events at the Winter Games. The base for ice and snow events is weak, and the translated names for some of the events have not even unified not to mention participation.

Following the advancement in the living standard of the people, the interest of the public in winter sports is on the rise. Sports such as ice hockey and snowboarding are becoming symbols of fashion among urban youth. The bumpy ride along which the plan “North ice, South exhibition” has travelled is finally showing signs of improvement, thanks to the marketisation mechanism adopted in Shanghai and Wuhan. The bid for the Olympic Winter Games has ignited the passion for ice and snow among the public, and turned Chongli County in Zhangjiakou into a household name overnight.

We should seize the opportunity of the bid for the Olympic Winter Games to implement categorised supervision. The acceleration and deepening of sports reforms and the popularisation and development of winter sports should begin with children.

President Xi commented when he visited the Chinese sports delegation at Sochi: “To host an edition of the Olympic Winter Games will ignite the torch of ice and snow sports.” He further added: “The ice and snow sports should stay within the Shanhai Pass. If it can be popularised within the Pass, it will motivate 200 – 300 million people. The Olympic Games are about promoting mass sports and boost public fitness.”

The report from the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China stated: “Widely launch fitness for all, promote sport for all and the comprehensive development of competitive sports.” Public fitness is the starting point as well as the foothold in the development of sport.

Regulations of Fitness for All and Plan of Fitness for All (2011 – 2015) were promulgated after the Beijing Olympic Games and 8 August was declared “fitness for all” day, which made the fitness for all concept widely known and appreciated. The number of people taking part in sports training across the country continues to increase, while the number of different sports venues is well over 1 million. However, issues such as illogical group structure and imbalanced development among regions are still very prominent. Compare to over half of the population frequently participate in sport in world’s powerful sports nations, a huge gap still exists.

The Beijing Olympic Games and international experience illustrate that the staging of world multisport events, particularly the Olympic Games, plays a critical role in driving fitness for all and cultivating interest in sport and sports training among the public. The bid for the Olympic Winter Games indeed hopes to continue to exploit this aspect.

President Bach of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) expressed at Sochi that cities bidding for the Olympic Games should focus more on how hosting the Games would impact their socioeconomic development in the long run. He remarked on the joint bid of Beijing and Zhangjiakou: “The bid for the Olympic Winter Games will attract tens of thousands of people to take part in the ice and snow sports. The drive for ice and snow sports brought about by the Games will not limit to Beijing. It will reach the entire country.”

The Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games Bid Committee highlighted the following points at the press conference on the bid in Sochi: inherit the Beijing Olympic legacies, improve air quality and expand the public base of ice and snow sports. Nevertheless, other applicant cities, such as Oslo, boast their own advantages.

“Participation is more important than winning,” is the ideology of the Olympic Games. Just as Li Lingwei, an IOC member, has said: The bid for the Olympic Winter Games was an extension of the understanding of the Olympic Movement. To fight for the right to host the Games was a goal but not the ultimate goal. The bidding process might be long and hard, but rewards would be reaped along the way.

Competition in the bid for the Olympic Summer and Winter Games has always been very fierce since the 80s. Sochi and Pyeongchang, the host of the next Olympic Winter Games, have bid many times before succeeding.

To Beijing and Zhangjiakou, the bid process is far more important than the result. During the one or multiple bid processes, solid and effective measures must be adopted to spread the Olympic spirit. The environment needs to be improved, while venue planning needs to be integrated with the popularisation of ice and snow sports and industrial development. These will drive the realisation of the dream of becoming a sports superpower.