BOCOG executive president anticipates joyous Paralympic Games

Source:Xinhua02/03/2021 17:53

BOCOG executive president anticipates joyous Paralympic Games

A staff member helps a disabled athlete during a testing program for the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games to root out problems and accumulate data at the National Alpine Skiing Center in Yanqing District, Beijing, capital of China, Feb. 23, 2021. (Xinhua/Zhang Chenlin)

BEIJING, March 2 (Xinhua) -- With roughly one year to go until the opening of the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games, the organizing committee's executive president Zhang Haidi sincerely hopes that Paralympic athletes the world over will get together in Beijing 2022 and put on an excellent sporting performance to inspire the world.

"Beijing is the first city to host both the Summer and Winter Paralympic Games. I hope people can leave their smiles and friendships here. We are confident in staging the Beijing 2022 as scheduled," said Zhang, also president of the China Disabled Persons' Federation, in a recent interview.

"Over the past few years, the Beijing Organizing Committee for the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (BOCOG) has conducted a close cooperation with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), International Paralympic Committee (IPC), and Paralympic Committees of all countries and regions to synchronize the preparation work for the Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games.

"All competition venues of Beijing 2022 have been completed. Competition organization and services including transportation, medical treatment, catering, and accommodation have been implemented in an orderly manner," Zhang noted.

"Overcoming difficulties brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, we proactively carried out the testing program. We unveiled the emblem, mascot, soundtracks, and introductory films of the Winter Paralympic Games. We also solicited slogans and hosted various activities to promote Paralympic sports. We advanced the construction of accessible environments in the host city with an aim of leaving sustainable legacies."

BOCOG executive president anticipates joyous Paralympic Games

Zhang Haidi, president of the China Disabled Persons' Federation (CDPF), speaks during the opening ceremony of the Global Health Forum of Boao Forum for Asia in Qingdao, east China's Shandong Province, June 11, 2019. Themed with "Universal Health Coverage," "Innovation" and "Health in All Policies," the three-day forum will focus on Internet plus healthcare, the industrial transformation of technology innovations, traditional medicine and the development of the health service industry. (Xinhua/Guo Xulei)

According to Zhang, the marketing program of the Games has gained favorable momentum, and international exchanges were implemented in a smooth way. Despite the pandemic, the BOCOG held important conferences via video link and offered services and safeguarding to Paralympic Committees and athletes from all over the world.

As for the Games' preparation work over the next year, Zhang said that a "green, inclusive, open and clean" approach should be adhered to throughout the process to deliver a "fantastic, extraordinary and excellent" Games in 2022.

Centring around the guiding principles of "simplicity, safety and excellence", Zhang listed some key tasks at the next stage, including construction and management of an accessible environment in venues of the host city, epidemic prevention and control, strengthening operational requirements of the Winter Paralympic Games, enhancing Winter Paralympic promotional and cultural activities and international exchanges, encouraging more persons with disabilities to participate in mass winter sports activities, and drilling on training in the final winter sports season prior to the Games.

In Zhang's opinion, the Paralympic Winter Games serve as a catalyst for developing China's undertakings for persons with disabilities.

"Paralympic sports in China have made greater strides in these years. The number of winter Paralympic athletes has risen from 50 at the start to over 1,000. Persons with disabilities enjoy more advanced training facilities now," she commented.

For Zhang, Winter Paralympic sports in China started slow and at a low point, but since China won the bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics, the world's most populous country has witnessed the number of sports it participates in from two to six.

Moreover, Chinese Para athletes have taken part in 59 international winter sports competitions and won 38 gold medals since 2016, which is highlighted by the country's first-ever Winter Paralympic gold medal in the wheelchair curling at the 2018 PyeongChang Games.

"Our national teams didn't slacken up their preparations despite the pandemic, targeting good results at Beijing 2022.

"Dear Para athletes, dear friends, see you in Beijing in 2022," Zhang concluded.

The Beijing Winter Paralympic Games will be staged between March 4 and 13, 2022.