BEIJING, Dec. 22 (Xinhua) -- As the first host city to fully benefit from the Olympic Agenda 2020, Beijing 2022 has made great strides in incorporating the new way of working this year. From the earliest stages of preparations for the Games, Beijing 2022 has set a new benchmark for the Olympic movement.
Since the inception of the bid for the 2022 Games, Beijing has planned an inspired vision of a 'Joyful Rendezvous upon Pure Ice and Snow,' highlighting the three bidding concepts of hosting a Winter Games that is "athlete-centered, sustainable and economical."
These three concepts are in line with the Olympic Agenda 2020, the 40-point reform package by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) aiming to reduce the cost of bidding for and hosting the Games. Many IOC members were impressed by Beijing's bidding concepts when they chose the city as the host for the 2022 Games.
Earlier this year, the IOC announced an ambitious set of 118 reforms, focusing on six recommendations of Olympic Agenda 2020 related to the organization of the Games, and aims to ensure that the Games are affordable, beneficial and sustainable.
Beijing 2022 has focused singularly on complying with these reforms by putting on a Games that is "green, inclusive, open and clean" to honor China's commitment to host a "fantastic, extraordinary and excellent" Games.
China and the IOC's vision are perfectly lined up with one another.
IOC president Thomas Bach believes that Beijing 2022 will set a new standard for sustainability.
"The Beijing 2022 can set a new benchmark for a sustainable Olympic Games, on one hand benefiting from the legacy of Beijing 2008 and on the other hand developing a new winter sports destination in a sustainable way," Bach told Xinhua at the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games.
"There are two impressive highlights from Beijing. One is sustainability. You need to look around here at the Shougang Center, [to see] the positive effect that awarding the Olympic Games had for this area," Bach said when attending an IOC "debrief" on the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games in June.
The debrief was held in the Shougang Industrial Park. Shougang Group, one of China's largest steel enterprises, began shutting down its production in Beijing ahead of the Summer Games in 2008.
To promote the protection and utilization of the old industrial site, Beijing 2022 decided to base its head office in the Shougang Industrial Park, and now the workshops have been transformed into modern office buildings. This location, which will be the venue for the Big Air competitions in 2022, is an impressive example of urban planning and renewal.
"Chinese friends are not only talking the talk, but also walking the walk. They take sustainability really as a core issue for the organization of the Games," Bach said.
"The other is feasibility. The Organizing Committee is working with high efficiency, while making all the potential savings the Olympic Agenda 2020 is offering, and keeping the Olympic spirit alive and respecting the athlete experience," he added.
In November, with the aim of ensuring Beijing 2022 will bring long-lasting benefits to the citizens of China, the Beijing 2022 Legacy Coordination Committee was formed.
Beijing 2022 will utilize 26 competition and non-competition venues located in three clusters of downtown Beijing, Yanqing district and neighboring Zhangjiakou city, Hebei province.
Among the 13 competition and non-competition venues in downtown Beijing, many are legacy venues from the Olympic Games Beijing 2008.
These include the iconic "Bird's Nest" National Stadium, which will be used for the opening and closing ceremonies in 2022. The “Water Cube” national Aquatics Centre will be the curling venue. The National Indoor Stadium and Wukesong Sports Centre will host the ice hockey events, while the Capital Indoor Stadium will host figure skating and short track speed skating events. At Beijing 2022, a global audience will see this innovative reuse of existing venues from 2008.
"You are building a very intelligent Games. And this is something that not only will give you a wonderful legacy in infrastructure but also a more personal legacy for the citizens," chair of the IOC Coordination Commission for Beijing 2022 Juan Antonio Samaranch said after his visit to these venues in September.
China has announced another innovative measure to broaden the influence of the Games, encouraging 300 million people in the country to participate in winter sports. By the snow season of 2017-2018, about 17.5 million Chinese citizens were reported to have skied at least once in a year.
The Games and its education and engagement programs are expected to encourage millions more to take up winter sports. When the new school year began in September, elementary and secondary school students across China were encouraged to create their own mascots for the Games in art classes.
Beijing 2022 also promotes winter sports and benefit citizens by its use of high technology, which has been adopted in many venues. The National Aquatics Centre from Beijing 2008 will be repurposed from the Water Cube to Ice Cube with curling sheets on top of the pool. The National Sliding Center has also developed a technology called "Climate Protection System" combining the landscape, racing track and sun shield roof, which will save energy and carbon emissions.
The transportation connecting three competition clusters is a priority for the organizers as Zhangjiakou is 220km away from Beijing.
A new high-speed railway linking Beijing and Zhangjiakou will significantly shorten the travel time from the current three hours to 50 minutes. The connection net will serve the National Strategy of Coordinated and Integrated Development of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region and create favorable conditions for future investment.
Liu Yumin, Director of Beijing 2022’s Venue Planning and Construction Department, said that infrastructure projects such as the new high-speed railway are built for regional development and should be excluded from the total investment of the Games.
Beijing 2022 will benefit from these projects in the three competition zones, but they have long been planned by local governments for urban development and their expenditures are independent of the Games budget, Liu said.
Beijing 2022 also embraces Olympic Agenda 2020 and by working more closely with the International Federations and organizers of previous Games on venue and sport delivery.
From November 2017 to March 2018, Beijing 2022 sent a total of 254 staff members to PyeongChang 2018 to get first-hand experience. 41 staff members joined a “secondee program” and were placed in key roles in the local organizing committee. 144 staff members participated in an observational capacity.
After PyeongChang 2018, Beijing 2022 held a workshop series to share what they learned at the Games. The discussions, consisting of 21 modules and 107 topics, focused on practical learning and nailed down the knowledge required to prepare for the Games.
Beijing 2022's marketing program，since its launch in February 2017, has seen great success. The eight official partners that have been signed are Bank of China, Air China, Yili Group (dairy products), ANTA (sports apparel), China Unicom (telecommunication services), Shougang Group (urban regeneration services), CNPC (oil & gas), and Sinopec Group (oil & gas). Some of them were official partners of Beijing 2008.
The search for tier-two Official Sponsors has also been going on smoothly since August 2018. Tsingtao Brewery Co., Ltd. and Beijing Yanjing Brewery Co., Ltd. became Beijing 2022’s Official Beer Sponsors on 17 December, while the Arawana brand of the Yihai Kerry Group was announced as the Official Cooking Oil and Grains Products Sponsor on 20 December. Shunxin became an Official Sponsor on 26 December, to provide Beijing 2022 with fresh meat, seafood, fruits, and vegetables. More Official Sponsors are expected to be signed in 2019.
(By Zheng Qing)
Beijing Organising Committee for the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games All Rights Reserved
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