Sus­tain­abil­ity key to Olympics ef­forts

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - TOP NEWS - By CHINA DAILY

By trans­form­ing old steel mills into fa­cil­i­ties for the 2022 Olympic and Par­a­lympic Win­ter Games, Bei­jing is demon­strat­ing a sus­tain­able ap­proach to host­ing the event, ac­cord­ing to the In­ter­na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tee.

The ex­em­plar y trans­for­ma­tion shows the host coun­try’s ef­forts in mak­ing progress to­ward the vi­sion of the Bei­jing 2022 Games, Alexan­der Zhukov, chair­man of the IOC co­or­di­nat­ing com­mit­tee, said at a news con­fer­ence in June af­ter an in­spec­tion tour.

With its aban­doned fur­naces and smoke­stacks, the for­mer pro­duc­tion site of ma­jor steel­maker Shougang Group in Bei­jing e vokes mem­o­ries of the cap­i­tal’s in­dus­trial past.

Yet, ac­cord­ing to an agree­ment signed by the com­pany and the Gen­eral Ad­min­is­tra­tion of Sport in late Fe­bru­ary, the two par­ties will co­op­er­ate to turn the com­plex into train­ing venues af­ter ex­ten­sive ren­o­va­tions, which will meet the de­mand for 11 na­tional teams pre­par­ing for the 2022 Win­ter Olympics.

The events i nvolved in­clude short-track speed skat­ing, fig­ure skat­ing, curl­ing and ice hockey.

In ad­di­tion, apar tment build­ings for ath­letes and a Win­ter Olympic-themed pub­lic square are un­der con­struc­tion.

Re­volv­ing around the new fa­cil­i­ties, a na­tional sports in­dus­try model zone will also be de­vel­oped in the fu­ture, ac­cord­ing to the agree­ment.

The pro­gram that aims to turn in­dus­trial legacy into a sports-themed zone will dove­tail the host­ing of the Win­ter Olympics with the trans­for­ma­tion of Shougang Group, which will ex­plore a new mode in the post-Games era via the pro­tec­tive de­vel­op­ment of the old in­dus­trial base, de­sign­ers said.

The de­vel­op­ment comes af­ter Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping called for a more sus­tain­able ap­proach to host­ing the games, which is in line with the In­ter­na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tee’s pro­posal high­lighted in the Olympic Agenda 2020 to cut bid­ding and or­ga­niz­ing costs for hosts.

In July 2015, Bei­jing and Zhang ji­akou, in neigh­bor- ing He­bei prov­ince, were named as hosts of the 2022 Win­ter Olympics. The event will be staged in three venue clus­ters: in the cap­i­tal’s down­town area, north­west­ern Yan­qing county and in Chongli county of neighb o r i n g He b e i p r o v i n c e’s Zhang ji­akou.

Shougang Group be­gan re­lo­cat­ing from the site in 2005, as part of mea­sures to re­duce air pol­lu­tion in the run-up to the 2008 Bei­jing Sum­mer Olympics. In the next five years, the steel com­pany grad­u­ally moved its en­tire oper­a­tions to Caofei­d­ian in He­bei.

Af­ter shut­ting its plant in the cap­i­tal in 2010, the Sta­te­owned en­ter­prise rolled out a blue­print to re­vi­tal­ize the site, which in­cludes open­ing an in­dus­trial park.

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