Beijing 2022 tells IOC Session: The Games are ready!

In its final pre-Games report to the IOC Session, the Beijing 2022 Organising Committee declared today that it was ready for the Olympic Winter Games to begin. With the Olympic Torch Relay ongoing, competition underway and the Opening Ceremony scheduled to take place tomorrow, Beijing 2022 outlined its readiness and the growing excitement both in the competition zones and across China.

Beijing 2022 at the 139th IOC Session at the CNCC ahead during the 139th IOC Session at the CNCC ahead of the XXIV IOC Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022. IOC/Greg Matin

This was reflected in the report from the IOC’s Beijing 2022 Coordination Commission Chair, Juan Antonio Samaranch, who explained that the overall situation was very positive. This is evidenced in the encouraging feedback received by many stakeholders since their arrival.

Echoing these remarks, IOC President Thomas Bach said: “We are just 24 hours away from the Opening Ceremony. The athletes have arrived, the latest number I got is 2,470 athletes are here. Most of you (the media) and your colleagues have also arrived here in the meantime. So we can say Beijing is ready. The amazing venues are ready. The Olympic Village is ready. Most importantly, the athletes are ready.”

He continued: “From tomorrow on, Beijing will officially be the first city to host Summer and Winter editions of the Olympic Games. It is well prepared in many respects. I think the most impressive and the most important achievement in the preparations is the fact that more than 300 million Chinese people have been introduced to a winter sport during the preparation for these Olympic Games. Therefore we can say, today, China is a winter sport country.”

Beijing 2022’s readiness was detailed throughout its report, which explained that mountain operations and ice management are well underway; the sports equipment is all in place; the international experts have been working on-site for many days; and the Technical Officials are ready.

All of the venues are now open for training and competition, while the three Olympic Villages and the contracted hotels are in full operation.Supporting these facilities, Games-time catering services are being delivered and transport services are in full operation, including the dedicated Games-time high-speed trains that are running between Beijing and Zhangjiakou. 

Supporting all of this are 19,000 volunteers, who have played an important role in the positive energy experienced across all areas of the Games so far.

While the Games operations remain complex, the IOC and Beijing 2022 explained that they are focusing on fine-tuning a number of critical areas. One of these is the continued operation of COVID-19 countermeasures, with the Coordination Commission Chair acknowledging the successful operation of the closed-loop system, which ensures total separation between Games participants and those outside the loop. Importantly, there have so far been zero cases of transmission inside the closed loop.

While it is still early days, Samaranch suggested that these results show the effectiveness of the measures outlined in the Beijing 2022 Playbooks, developed by the Chinese health authorities with the active participation of Beijing 2022, the IOC, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and the international expert panel, and input from the World Health Organization (WHO).

In a wider context, Beijing 2022 said that public enthusiasm for the Olympic Winter Games continues to rise, with a wide range of activities across the country planned for the coming days.

The spectator situation was also addressed by Beijing 2022, noting the challenges posed by the current COVID-19 situation in China. Following the decision not to sell tickets, the Organising Committee explained that spectators from both inside and outside the loop will be invited to events in Beijing and Zhangjiakou. 

Wider public engagement was highlighted in Beijing 2022’s report, as it confirmed that, with 346 million participants, the goal of “engaging 300 million people in winter sports” has been achieved. Building on this, the Organising Committee committed to the ongoing promotion of the Olympic Movement, whilst also continuing to advance various local economic and social development projects initiated by the hosting of these Games.

Sustainability was another important component of Beijing 2022’s final report, with the organisers noting their commitment to hosting “green, inclusive, open and clean” Olympic Winter Games.  With all competition venues powered by renewable electricity, carbon dioxide cooling systems used in four venues and many other sustainability initiatives, they reconfirmed their commitment to making the Beijing 2022 Games carbon neutral. 

In closing, Beijing 2022 emphasised the success of the close cooperation with Olympic and Paralympic stakeholders and the Organising Committee’s determination to deliver to the world simple, safe and splendid Games.

While not included in Beijing 2022's report to the Session, earlier today the Organising Committee released its “Gender Equality Commitment”, highlighting the actions and initiatives that have been and will be implemented to leverage the Games as a platform to promote an inclusive and gender equal society. As part of these initiatives, and with the aim of promoting gender-equal and fair portrayal in the coverage of the Olympic Winter Games, Beijing 2022 has translated the IOC Portrayal Guidelines into Mandarin, distributing these to local media and rights-holding broadcasters.  Beijing 2022 will be the most gender-balanced Olympic Winter Games to date, with women expected to account for 45 per cent of the athletes.

The Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 will take place between 4 and 20 February. The Paralympic Winter Games will then take place from 4 until 13 March. 

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