Preparations for Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics progressing as planned

By Lu Wenao Source: Global Times Published: 2020/7/31 1:54:53

Photo taken on March 4, 2020 shows a rendering of the National Sliding Center for 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing, China. During the Beijing Winter Olympic Games, the National Sliding Center will host bobsleigh, skeleton and luge events. (Xinhua)

Preparations for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics are progressing as planned, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said Thursday, amid concerns that the COVID-19 pandemic could also have an impact on the quadrennial event. 

"Preparations for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics are progressing as planned and have been highly praised by all parties, including the International Olympic Committee (IOC)," Wang said at a daily news briefing. 

"We will continue to maintain close cooperation with the IOC on the preparations for the Beijing Winter Olympics."

Speculation about canceling the Beijing 2022 Games came after IOC member Dick Pound said in an interview with Reuters earlier this month that if the postponed Tokyo Olympics do not go ahead next year due to COVID-19, then the Beijing 2022 Winter Games could also fall victim to the pandemic.

In an email to the Global Times regarding Pound's comment, the IOC said that the schedule for Tokyo 2020 and Beijing 2022 "remains unchanged."

"The position of the IOC is very clear and remains unchanged. We are fully concentrated and committed to the successful delivery of the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2020 next year and the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games," the IOC said. 

The pandemic has postponed the Tokyo Olympics for a year. They were scheduled to be held from July 24 to August 9 this year.

China will continue to support Japan to host the Tokyo Olympics and hopefully the Games will go ahead as rescheduled, Wang said.

Tokyo 2020 Chief Executive Toshiro Muto told the BBC on Wednesday that the Olympics could be held in front of "a limited number of spectators" due to the pandemic, amid concerns that the postponed Games could be held without a vaccine to handle COVID-19.

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