BEIJING, June 9 : Beijing 2022 has kept up preparation efforts to a high standard despite the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, Zhang Jiandong, Beijing vice mayor and executive vice president of the Beijing 2022 organizing committee (BOCOG), said on Tuesday.
Zhang made the remarks at the fifth meeting of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Coordination Commission held online to discuss updates on the preparation for the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games, especially given the impact of the pandemic.
Zhang briefed the plenary meeting on Tuesday about the progress made since the last meeting in July 2019, with a focus on the impact of the coronavirus outbreak, sustainability, the legacy of the Games, and its global publicity campaign.
“Despite the COVID-19 outbreak, we have been delivering a continuous effort without lowering standards,” Zhang said.
Zhang noted that venue construction projects were among the first to resume after the pandemic was under control in China. An IOC Broadcasters Meeting, a Partnership Workshop and other important meetings were held. Last month, Beijing 2022 marked several milestones, launching global appeal for medal, torch and apparel designs and a Sustainability Plan for the Games.
Since the global recruitment of volunteers began on December 5, 2019, the organizers have received more than 810 thousand applications. 26 enterprises have become partners or sponsors of the Games.
The BOCOG vice president also admitted that there are still challenges ahead with the coronavirus spreading across the globe.
“For example, the manufacturers of the equipment we bought for venue construction are mainly in hard-hit countries and regions, so the manufacture, transportation and import of them were all affected. Some foreign experts and technical personnel for the installing and commissioning of the facilities and venue homologation face difficulties coming to the site at the moment,” he said.
“We will try to figure these out on a case-by-case basis and ensure all venue construction projects will be finished by the end of this year and geared up for test events,” he vowed.
“We will further consolidate our cooperation with the IOC, the International Paralympics Committee (IPC) and the International Federations (IFs) to identify and tackle potential risks and challenges,” he added.
IOC Coordination Commission Chair Juan Antonio Samaranch gave high praise for the progress Beijing 2022 has made in preparation.
“China has faced an incredibly difficult period over the past few months – our thoughts are with all those impacted,” he said.
“Despite these unique circumstances, Beijing 2022 has continued to meet key milestones, a true testament to their determination to provide the perfect stage for the world’s top winter athletes in just under two years’ time.
“Not only have we seen important progress with their venues, their efforts to engage millions of people in winter sports is heartening. This aligns very much with the spirit of Olympism and the thoughts of IOC President Thomas Bach in relation to ‘sport and physical activity make a great contribution to health’ in society,” Samaranch said. Enditem