WITH 500 days to go before the opening of the 2022 Winter Olympic Games, International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach lauded Beijing 2022 for being a “historic event” which will make the Chinese capital the first city to host both the summer and winter Olympic Games.
“This is something very significant for the entire Olympic Movement,” Bach said in an interview with Chinese state broadcaster CCTV ahead of the 500-day milestone. “And we have seen how much the Chinese people are embracing this opportunity by getting familiar with winter sport in record time, by becoming really an emerging nation in winter sports.”
On July 31, 2015, the IOC awarded the hosting right of the 2022 Winter Olympics to Beijing, defeating Kazak opponent Almaty.
The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has hit the sports world hard, as major sports events, including Tokyo 2020, were forced to be pushed back for one year. But the preparation work for Beijing 2022 remains on track.
“The progress is, really, the Chinese way, if I may say. You see the dynamism and the efficiency of the Chinese people behind these preparations and behind the organization. And you also see the great engagement when you see that more than 800,000 Chinese people have applied to become volunteers,” Bach noted.
Following a short break for the Spring Festival, Beijing 2022 organizers resumed venue construction work under vigilant virus prevention measures as early as February, laying a solid foundation for all 2022 competition venues, new or renovated, to be ready by the end of this year.