Lithuanian alpine skier says coming to Beijing 2022 a 'dream come true' moment, impressed by China's efforts of hosting the Olympics
Lithuanian alpine skier impressed by China’s efforts of hosting Olympics
Published: Feb 10, 2022 07:25 PM
Lithuanian alpine skier Andrej Drukarov. Photo: Instagram of Drukarov

Lithuanian alpine skier Andrej Drukarov. Photo: Instagram of Drukarov

Lithuanian alpine skier Andrej Drukarov shared some videos showing the venues and facilities in Yanqing district, one of the three venues of the 2022 Winter Olympics, on social media. 

He told the Global Times on Thursday that his experience has been good and it's indeed a dream come true attending the Olympic Games. The athlete said he does not care much about the diplomatic spat between Lithuania and China. 

Drukarov added that he was particularly impressed by Beijing's infrastructure and that he would like to visit the city in the future as a tourist. 

After he arrived in Beijing on Tuesday, the Lithuanian athlete came to the Yanqing district - a competition zone where luge, bobsleigh and alpine skiing matches are being held. 

"The slopes are in perfect shape and they have nothing less than the ­European slopes," the 22-year-old told the Global Times. 

He has already begun the pre-game training in order to get ready for the competitions. 

The Lithuanian National Olympic Committee (LTOK) announced in January that it would send 13 athletes, its largest delegation to the Games - five ­biathletes, two downhill skiers, four skiers and two figure skaters.

Although Drukarov has stayed for less than a week in the Olympic Village, he said everyone - from volunteers and security guards to the cleaning staff - is very friendly. And as an alpine skier, he has no problems with the food as there are so many options to choose from. 

Relations between China and Lithuania have nosedived after Lithuania allowed the Taiwan authority to set up a representative office with the name ­Taiwan, a move challenging the one-China principle and encouraging ­secessionism in the island of Taiwan. In response, China ­announced a ­downgrade in ­diplomatic relations with Lithuania in November 2021.  

Lithuanian President Gitanas ­Nauseda said on December 3, 2021 that he and government ministers would not attend the Games, a clear sign of Lithuania joining the small clique driven and organized by the US in hyping a "diplomatic boycott" of the Beijing Games. 

"I heard the political problems as I read a lot, but I think that especially for the Olympics, it's an opportunity and it's a time when all the political statements and collisions have to fall, so we can just focus on our sport," the Lithuanian athlete said. 

"I'm just focused on my skiing, and on my training," he said, noting that he does not see those tensions as an athlete. 

The Lithuanian athlete also said the anti-epidemic procedures that he had gone through were done fast. ­Organizers have been following the protocols by giving daily tests, carrying on disinfectant work and requiring people to keep social distancing and wear facial masks, which are all understandable as the pandemic has yet to end, he noted. 

"China is very organized," he said, noting that the efforts that China has put into making sure the Games go smoothly are impressive.