The International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s Coordination Commission was pleased to see advancements made to Beijing’s sustainability and legacy plans during its second trip to China (12-13 June) to review preparation for the Olympic Winter Games.
“Since our last visit, the Beijing 2022 Organising Committee has made good progress in its preparations for sustainable Olympic Winter Games that will benefit the city, region and country for decades to come,” Commission Chair Alexander Zhukov said. “It is very clear that the Chinese organisers have taken care to implement the spirit of Olympic Agenda 2020 throughout their preparations to host the Olympic Winter Games. I look forward to continued collaboration on these important topics under the leadership of Beijing 2022’s new President Cai Qi, with whom we are already building a strong relationship.”
On the first day, the Coordination Commission visited four sites in Beijing – the new National Speed Skating Oval, the Capital Indoor Stadium, Wukesong Sports Centre and the Shougang Industry Park. The land where the Speed Skating Oval is to be built is already being prepared for construction work, and is expected to be completed by the end of 2019.
Both the Capital Indoor Stadium and Wukesong Arena were used during the Olympic Games in 2008, and will be repurposed for the Olympic Winter Games. This legacy from 2008 is already alive today, with the stadiums hosting international curling and ice hockey matches respectively in recent months. The final stop on the tour was the Shougang Industry Park, which is a former steel mill that was closed down in 2008 ahead of the Olympic Games. It is now the location of the Organising Committee’s headquarters and is the proposed location for Big Air in 2022.
The Shougang site is currently being revitalised as a new area of the city that will include housing, leisure and sports facilities for both public enjoyment and elite training.
“Beijing 2022 has a vision to host an Olympic Winter Games that will provide long-term economic and social benefits for the region,” Zhukov said. “It was impressive to see how the Organising Committee has not only capitalised on the venue legacy from 2008, but has also integrated long-lasting sustainable solutions across its various priorities, including a commitment for all permanent indoor venues to be LEED-standard.”
“We believe the meeting has been practical and effective, during which both sides had frank and in-depth exchanges regarding the preparatory work Beijing 2022 has done, allowing us to reach consensus on major issues,” Beijing 2022’s Executive Vice President Zhang Jiandong said.
The involvement of athletes in the preparations of the Games was very clear during the venue tour with Olympic medallists Wang Beixing and Li Nina being joined by former Chinese national champion figure skater Yao Jia to present the venues. All three athletes are currently working in Beijing 2022’s Sports Department. During the week, the Athletes’ Commission was confirmed, with Chinese Olympian and IOC Member Yang Yang to serve as the Chair. This athletes’ expertise is supplemented by the Beijing 2022 Athletes’ Commission, which is currently being put in place by the local organisers.
On day two, Beijing 2022 gave a series of presentations that included updates on venue and competition plans for both the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, organisational structure, and advances made in marketing and communications projects.
“Beijing 2022 President Cai has underlined his commitment to delivering successful, athlete-centred Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, and this visit has given me full confidence that this ambition will be realised,” Zhukov said.
The next full visit of the IOC’s Coordination Commission to Beijing will be in 2018.
**LEED standards refers to leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, which is a globally recognized symbol of excellence in green building.