Italy's sports officials congratulate China for winning 2022 Winter Olympics

Source:Xinhua Published: 2015-8-6 23:34:28

The International Olympic Committee (IOC)'s choice to award the 2022 Winter Olympics to Beijing was a very good one for the promotion of winter sports in the world, Italian sports officials said congratulating China for last week's victory.

"This is a decision that consigns Beijing to the history books," the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) President Giovanni Malago told Xinhua.

"Beijing will be the first city to organize the Winter Olympic Games after hosting the Summer ones in 2008. This had never happened before and certifies, once more, the exceptional result achieved in the 2008 edition in terms of hospitality and efficiency," he said.

Such a result, Malago went on saying, was reached thanks to "an authentic passion for sports and the desire to leave another indelible mark, in compliance with the Olympic Agenda 2020 new principles." In fact the 2022 Games, he underlined, pledge to be the first driven by total sustainability and transparency, low costs and focus on legacy.

"Congratulations to the Chinese Olympic Committee (COC) and the bid committee, which brought forward the application with ability, style and effectiveness," Malago said.

"I did not expect this news, but when I saw it, being a mountain man I thought it was a beautiful promotion of winter sports," said Valter Marin, President of the March 20 Foundation, which manages all facilities of the Turin 2006 Olympic park, and Mayor of Sestriere - a renowned ski resort near Turin and the highest municipality in Italy at 2,035 meters above the sea level.

"The 2006 Turin Games marked a turning point in Winter Olympics that for the first time were held in a large city with its surrounding valleys. Vancouver 2010 in Canada and Sochi 2014 in Russia replicated this model, and Beijing will do the same," he added.

Marin observed that many inhabitants of metropolises in the world are not used to winter sports. "Millions of people who might have never approached a winter sport will be encouraged to try thanks to the Beijing Winter Olympics," he said.

"I am sure that Beijing has all the means to do an excellent job," he added.

Based on his own experience, he wished that Beijing will also make good use of Olympics facilities in the future. "We are still using almost all of Turin facilities, some for sports activities and other for conferences, fairs and concerts," he said.

Marin, who is also an architect, explained to Xinhua that an objective for next year, the 10th anniversary of the 2006 Turin event, is cutting facilities running costs by 50 percent. In fact the legacy of an Olympics is as much as important as the Olympics themselves, he pointed out.

Sergio Anesi, President of the Organizing Committee of the Winter Universiade which run in Italy's Trentino northern region in 2013 and a member of the CONI Executive Committee, said he did expect Beijing to win the 2022 Winter Olympics for various reasons, including China' s economic capacity and experience in the organization of big events.

"I believe China has a strong expertise behind and will be able to offer an extraordinary Olympics," he said.

Anesi said he also hopes that the 2022 Games will be "more human," that is to say more focused on athletes than on technology. "When the Olympics are awarded, the main objective is always promotion of sports in the world," he said.

That is why, Anesi went on saying, it is fundamental that facilities continue to be used for sports activities also in the future as happened in Trentino and not partly adapted to host events of a totally different scope, as unfortunately happened in Turin.

His personal wish for Beijing was that the Chinese capital will be able to "fully embody this spirit of the Olympic Games and deliver it to the world as the best promotion of sports as an instrument of health, well-being and quality of life for all citizens."

Posted in: Winter Sport

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