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HOLD Beijing 2022 preparations continue amid event cancellations

Beijing, Feb 4 (IANS) It’s never easy to set a new standard of organizing a sporting event, especially when it comes to the Olympic Games. But Beijing is on its way to achieving this goal for the second time, just as it did in 2008 when the 29th Summer Olympic Games were held here.

Preparations for the 2022 winter Olympic Games remain well on track. The high-speed railway line connecting Beijing with co-host city Zhangjiakou entered service on December 30, 2019.

A permanent big air facility at Shougang Industrial Park came into use at last year’s World Cup event. The course and supporting facilities of the National Alpine Skiing Centre are ready and the global recruitment process for Games volunteers has begun, reports Xinhua news agency.

And in 2020, all the competition and non-competition venues will be finished.

Beijing 2022 organizers say they are committed to delivering a “fantastic, extraordinary and excellent” Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, as the focus of preparations for the Games has shifted from venue construction to the management and operation of competition centres.

IOC chief Thomas Bach has expressed his confidence in Beijing on many different occasions since July 31, 2015, when he announced in Kuala Lumpur that the city would host the 2022 Olympic Winter Games.

“In two years, China will write history again. Beijing will be the first city in Olympic history to organize both the winter and summer Games,” Bach said last month at a ceremony introducing the Beijing 2022 mascots to the Olympic Museum in Lausanne.

“Beijing 2022’s preparation work is going very well and we can already look forward to an excellent Winter Olympic Games from now on,” he added.

Even since the outbreak of novel coronavirus, Bach has expressed his full support to China, writing of his faith that the Games’ preparations will not be affected in a recent letter to the Chinese Olympic Committee.

“We are fully confident that preparations for the Games will not be affected, and that your country can look forward to once again inviting the athletes of the world to compete in Beijing.”

In 2020, slogans, medals and torch design plans will be collected, and the route of the torch relay and theme songs for the Games will also be released. A creative team will be formed to plan the opening and closing ceremonies.

–IANS

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