Zhang Jiandong, Executive Vice-President of Beijing 2022, and the IOC’s Beijing 2022 Coordination Commission Chair, Juan Antonio Samaranch, both updated the IOC Session on the progress being made in China as Beijing prepares to host next year’s Olympic Winter Games.
Following the completion of all 12 competition venues, on schedule, by the end of 2020, Zhang explained that many of these facilities have undergone testing in recent weeks. This involved activities for snow sports held in the Yanqing and Zhangjiakou zones between 16 and 26 February, covering 17 Olympic winter sports events, three Paralympic winter sports events and 14 special tests. Further testing activities for ice sports will be conducted in early April, with 10 international test events and three international training weeks scheduled between October and December.
Executive Vice-President Zhang also highlighted Beijing 2022’s focus on safety for next year’s Olympic Winter Games. The development of COVID-19 countermeasure planning remains a priority for Games delivery. It was also noted that playbooks are currently being developed for Beijing 2022.
Paris 2024 President Tony Estanguet and CEO Etienne Thobois provided an overview of their Organising Committee’s recent successes and upcoming plans, supported by IOC Paris 2024 Coordination Commission Chair Pierre-Olivier Beckers-Vieujant.
Paris 2024 highlighted the completion of their first multi-year budget review late last year. In acknowledging the importance of adapting to the global health and economic crisis, the Organising Committee committed to respecting the initial budget envelope of EUR 3.9 billion. A major contributor to this review was the approval of a new venue masterplan, reducing the number of venues being used and increasing operational efficiencies.
Paris 2024 also provided an update on their engagement activities, which aim to capitalise on increased visibility during this year’s Olympic and Paralympic Games and following the handover from Tokyo 2020. One key component includes the Paris 2024 Club, which now lists more than 100,000 members of the public, and the Terre de Jeux 2024 programme, which now encompasses 1,400 active communities across France.
Another recent success highlighted by Paris 2024 involved the activations during Olympic and Paralympic Week in France earlier this year. This aimed to introduce 30 minutes of physical activity into the school day, getting more than 500,000 kids active in more than 3,000 establishments, with the support of more than 200 athletes engaged in activities.