CHINA / POLITICS
Beijing has all elements ready for successful Olympics: IOC President
Boycott of Five Eyes Alliance ‘no big deal’
Published: Nov 22, 2021 09:57 PM
President of the International Olympic Committee Thomas Bach Photo: AFP

President of the International Olympic Committee Thomas Bach Photo: AFP



Construction of all the venues and supporting infrastructure of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games  has been completed, and ongoing tests have not been affected despite positive COVID-19 cases reported during the events, Beijing authorities announced on Monday. Meanwhile, experts said a boycott by the Five Eyes Alliance will be "no big deal" for hosting such a highly anticipated event.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has shown its confidence in the event. When speaking at the 40th Olympic Council of Asia General Assembly in Dubai, the UAE, IOC President Thomas Bach said Beijing will make history as the first city in the world to host both the Summer and Winter Olympic Games, as all elements are in place to deliver a "successful" Beijing Winter Olympics. Bach said Beijing will change the landscape of winter sports forever.

However, the UK is reportedly in discussion with other members of the Five Eyes Alliance including Canada, Australia and New Zealand, about a diplomatic boycott of the Games. 

China opposes any attempt to politicize international sports events that run counter to the Olympic spirit, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said during Monday's press briefing, reiterating China's commitment to hold a safe and brilliant Winter Olympics centering on players from around the world.

The IOC has always maintained a neutral, objective position and stands firmly opposed to relentless accusations toward and politicization of the Olympic Games, Zhao Jisheng, a professor with the College of Physical Education and Sports at Beijing Normal University, told the Global Times on Monday.

What's more, experts said that a boycott by the Five Eyes Alliance will be "no big deal" for hosting such a highly anticipated event, not to mention spoiling the heated vibes of the Games. They added that these countries will also face strong pressure from their own players, who have prepared hard and waited for four years for this opportunity but would likely be blocked by their own countries' playing of geopolitics.

"Especially with the newly adopted Olympic motto, the IOC wants to stress the unity of the world instead of ideological biases," said Zhao, the professor.

A number of high technologies are being applied for the first time at the Beijing Winter Olympics with the goal of realizing a carbon neutral international sports event featuring sustainability and energy efficiency.

The Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games have opened a power transmission project, bringing wind- and solar-powered green electricity from surrounding areas into Beijing. With the establishment of the world's first 500-kilovolt Zhangbei flexible direct current power grid, the Games are expected to be the first in Olympic history powered by 100 percent clean energy. 

In all the ice events, the entire process of making ice will use carbon dioxide, bringing carbon emissions close to zero. The large-scale application of this technology is a first in the history of the Olympic Games.

The artificial snow-making system for the Beijing Winter Olympic Games, which has been hyped by Western media as having "a huge environmental cost," has adopted the world's most advanced equipment characterized by its high efficiency in water conservation, enabling it to maintain the highest snow-making efficiency in accordance with the dynamics of the external environment, the Global Times has learned. 

The pursuit of green, energy-saving and sustainable concepts in this Olympic Games has been extended to the furthest extent, as all the venues from the residential spaces of players to the competition areas are built on the idea of protecting the local ecology, while striving to maximize the recycling of resources, Zhao said.

"I believe this kind of effort, devoted to a green and sustainable international sports event, has never been seen in previous Olympic Games, which is why Bach said the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics will change the landscape of winter sports forever," said the professor.

The construction work for the Olympic Games has fully shifted to the construction of temporary facilities for the event, Ding Jianming, a deputy director of the Beijing Major Projects Construction Headquarters Office, said during Monday's press briefing.

As of October 28, renovations were complete for the National Stadium, also known as the Bird's Nest, which will host the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Another eight competition venues, 16 non-competition venues and 31 supporting infrastructures in Beijing as well as the Yanqing competition zones have all been completed and put into use, according to Ding.

The ongoing test events have not been affected despite some positive COVID-19 cases reported during the events, Beijing authorities announced on Monday. The International Sledding Federation Sledding World Cup was held in Yanqing on the weekend, the first time that the Yanqing competition zone has conducted a test with more than 300 on-site attendees. 

The high-speed railway line connecting Beijing and Zhangjiakou, the co-hosting cities of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, is the world's first smart railway, reaching speeds of 350 kilometers per hour.

Besides, Beijing will put up special road and traffic signs for the Winter Olympics on seven highways within the city, with a total length of 205.6 kilometers, according to Beijing transport authorities.
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