Games’ prepa­ra­tion given IOC ap­proval

China Daily (USA) - - TOP NEWS - By SUN XIAOCHEN sunx­i­aochen@ chi­nadaily.com.cn

Beijing’s prepa­ra­tion for the 2022 Win­ter Olympic Games has im­pressed the In­ter­na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tee’s co­or­di­na­tion com­mis­sion for its em­pha­sis on sus­tain­abil­ity and legacy.

The com­mis­sion con­cluded its first, three-day visit to Beijing on Wed­nes­day af­ter on-site in­ves­ti­ga­tions at venue zones in down­town Beijing, Yan­qing county, and Games co-host Zhangji­akou in He­bei prov­ince.

The com­mis­sion also dis­cussed such points as gov­er­nance and in­fra­struc­ture with lo­cal or­ga­niz­ers.

Juan An­to­nio Sa­ma­ranch, IOC vice-pres­i­dent, a com­mis­sion mem­ber and son of the late IOC pres­i­dent, praised Beijing’s ef­forts.

“We are very pleased with what we’ve seen, and we’ve learned that Beijing 2022 has been off to a fast start. The ini­tial prepa­ra­tions are well on track,” Sa­ma­ranch said onWed­nes­day.

Beijing’s plan to make full use of ex­ist­ing fa­cil­i­ties is among the high­lights of its prepara­tory work, said Sa­ma­ranch.

“The venues of the 2008 Olympic Games (pro­posed for re­use in 2022) are demon­stra­tions that the Games are a use­ful tool for Beijing to reach this very long-term ob­jec­tive,” he said.

The only new, per­ma­nent venue to be built in Beijing is the Na­tional Speed Skat­ing Oval. Con­struc­tion starts in April.

“Dur­ing the com­mis­sion’s visit, we held in-depth and ef­fec­tive dis­cus­sions and reached con­sen­sus on a wide range of as­pects, and fur­ther de­fined the di­rec­tions and pri­or­i­ties for the Games’ prepa­ra­tion. We have achieved fruit­ful re­sults,” said Zhang Jian­dong, ex­ec­u­tive vice-pres­i­dent of Beijing 2022.

China, a world power in fig­ure skat­ing and short­track speed­skat­ing, will pro­vide more fi­nan­cial sup­port and in­vite for­eign ex­per­tise to im­prove less pop­u­lar events such as Alpine ski­ing and luge be­fore 2022, said Yang Shuan, vice-pres­i­dent of Beijing 2022.

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