IOC-led Orientation Seminar aims to get Beijing 2022 quick out of the blocks
To help Beijing get off to the strongest possible start on its seven-year journey to the Olympic Winter Games 2022, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) held a two-day (3-4 November) Orientation Seminar this week in the Chinese capital for over 350 people who will be involved in organising the Games.
Beijing was elected host of the Olympic Winter Games 2022 at the 128th IOC Session in Kuala Lumpur in July. As outlined in the Candidature Process, the local organisers aim to use the Games to accelerate the development of a new sport, culture and tourism area in northern China that will attract 300 million people to winter sports, as well as to create a better quality environment for the local population. The Orientation Seminar was the first major step on this journey since Beijing won the right to host the Games.
Led by Olympic Games Executive Director Christophe Dubi, the IOC delegation walked the organisers through the Olympic Games lifecycle during the two days of meetings, with a particular emphasis on the main opportunities for Beijing of hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Games; Games management, experience, and core elements; the Paralympic Games; and the formation of the Organising Committee. The meeting was held in a positive atmosphere with expert presentations associated to roundtable discussions that were well received by the Beijing delegation, which included Liu Peng, Minister of the General Administration of Sport of China and Chairman of the Chinese Olympic Committee; Wang Anshun, the Mayor of Beijing and Chairman of the Beijing 2022 Bid Committee; and Zhang Qingwei, Governor of Hebei Province.
The Orientation Seminar is the first since the adoption of Olympic Agenda 2020, the IOC’s strategic roadmap for the future of the Olympic Movement that was unanimously approved by the IOC Session in December 2014. The seminar draws heavily on the 40 recommendations of Olympic Agenda, including sustainability and legacy as top priorities for the Games project.
In a video message to the participants, IOC President Thomas Bach encouraged Beijing to continue working together with the IOC in the spirit of Olympic Agenda 2020 with a special focus on sustainability, feasibility and environmental protection. He added: “There is a saying in China that ‘a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.’ This meeting is the first step on our seven-year journey together to deliver brilliant Olympic Winter Games in 2022 for Beijing, for China, and for the world.”
In a continuation of the relationship fostered during the Candidate City phase, the IOC and local organisers will work together to determine how the Games can best fit into Beijing’s long-term strategy and vision for the city and region. With that in mind, knowledge and the experiences of previous hosts was shared in areas such as venues and infrastructure, stakeholders, Games services, brand and engagement, governance and commercial aspects with the local organisers. The IOC delegation also met during its visit with Mr Guo Jinlong, Secretary of the CPC Beijing Municipal Committee, who spoke about his hopes for the successful staging of the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022.
“The Orientation Seminar is about transferring knowledge from past editions of the Games to the local organisers so they can build on all the successes while tailoring the Olympic Winter Games 2022 to their own unique situation in Beijing,” said Dubi. “More than ever before, we are working together with the host cities to determine what their strengths are and how to make the Games benefit the Olympic Movement and as much of the local population as possible long after the 16 days of competition.”
The Orientation Seminar was attended by representatives of the Beijing 2022 Bid Committee, the Chinese Olympic Committee, local authorities, representatives of the Chinese National Winter Sports Federations, a number of IOC directors, the CEO of the International Paralympic Committee, and members of the IOC administration and experts.
Mr Zhang Jiandong, Deputy Mayor of Beijing and Vice-Chairman of the Beijing 2022 Bid Committee, said in his closing address: "The Orientation Seminar was compact but packed full of information. We had in-depth discussions and exchanged views on all major issues in connection with the preparation of Beijing 2022. Thanks to all the experts from the IOC, we now have a better and more accurate understanding of the needs of the Games. We hope that the IOC and all the experts will continue to give us professional advice and support over the next seven years. Let's join hands to make Beijing 2022 a great success."
Beijing has already taken advantage of the flexibility provided by Olympic Agenda 2020 to improve its plans for the Games. The city will rely heavily on existing venues, including those built for the Games in 2008, such as the iconic Bird’s Nest stadium.
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