Beijing 2022 Legacy already visible
The IOC Executive Board (EB) today heard a report on the preparations for the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022. IOC Coordination Commission Chair Juan Antonio Samaranch reported that work is continuing according to schedule. In particular, rapid progress is being made in areas such as the Opening Ceremony, the mascot selection process, test events and licensing, while the Games continue to be extremely successful commercially.
Samaranch underlined the work being undertaken with the Beijing organisers around Olympic Agenda 2020’s the New Norm. He explained that he expects Beijing 2022 to create the “most intelligent Games” to date. This is in no small part thanks to Beijing 2022’s vision of giving 300 million people in China access to winter sport. The development of new winter sports facilities in the Yanqing and Zhangjiakou clusters is part of the long-term vision of the country for winter sports, and these same facilities will be used for the Games.
This long-term view is supported by other private investments in the Games regions, which are helping, for example, to facilitate Hebei province’s move to diversify its economy through tourism. Yanqing will host the Expo Beijing 2019, which is expected to see around 16 million people visit the Yanqing region over a six-month period, and which will also provide an opportunity to test transport and demonstrate the importance of sustainable projects.
The Beijing 2022 project is also very much focused on sustainability, which underscores the intelligence of these Games as, in line with the New Norm, the majority of the ice sports competition venues will be legacy venues from the 2008 Games. This means that only venues needed for long-term use by the local communities are being built for the 2022 Games.
The 2022 legacy is already in action today, with the offices of the Beijing 2022 Organising Committee being constructed from the remnants of a disused steel plant, and a Chinese national training centre also operational in the grounds, supporting a number of winter sports athletes aiming for 2022. This comes in addition to major programmes designed to give people the opportunity to discover and try out winter sports, which will see participation grow significantly over the coming years.
The IOC EB also approved the qualification system principles for the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022, with no major changes having been made compared with those for the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018. The International Federations’ detailed qualification systems will be submitted to the IOC Executive Board for approval in July 2019.