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Beijing 2022 Official Says Preparations Maintained High Standards Despite Pandemic

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People walk past a installation in the shape of a fan bearing the bidding logo of Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, in front of the National Aquatics Center, also known as the Water Cube, in Beijing, China, February 15, 2015. Photo: REUTERS / Stringer

By Nancy Gillen |

Beijing 2022 executive vice-president Zhang Jiandong claimed a high standard of preparation has been maintained despite the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Zhang, also the Vice-Mayor of Beijing, made the comments at an online meeting with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Coordination Commission, as reported by Chinese state news agency Xinhua

He briefed attendees on 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.

Some problems caused by the pandemic were discussed during the virtual meeting.

“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,” Zhang said.

“Some foreign experts and technical personnel for the installation and commissioning of the facilities and venue homologation face difficulties coming to the site at the moment.

“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.

“We will further consolidate our cooperation with the IOC, the International Paralympic Committee and the International Federations to identify and tackle potential risks and challenges.”

The outbreak of coronavirus began in China at the end of 2019 and has now spread worldwide, resulting in nearly 7.5 cases and more than 419,000 deaths. 

The crisis has caused the suspension of all sport and the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games to 2021. 

IOC Coordination Commission chair Juan Antonio Samaranch praised Beijing 2022 for their handling of the situation. 

“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.”

Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz.

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