February 4, 2022
BEIJING – The closed-loop management of the Beijing Winter Olympic Games is efficient and the city is ready for the opening of the Games, Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee said Thursday night, just one day ahead of the Games’ opening.
“We are just twenty four hours away from the opening of the Games. We can say Beijng is ready. The amazing venues are ready. The Olympic villages are ready,” Bach said at a news conference in the main media center of the Beijing Games.
“We can feel very safe in the closed loop despite challenges of the global pandemic,” he added.
“This closed loop so far is highly efficient, but it depends, of course, on understanding and respect for the rulers of each and every one.
“I think that we all witness to the fact that China is doing everything to make the Games safe for every participates.”
Bach also hailed the preparation for the Beijing Olympics, especially that it has fulfilled the goal of engaging 300 million people in winter sports in leading up to the Games.
“From tomorrow on, Beijing will officially be the first city to host summer and winter editions of the Olymic 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 winter sports during the preparation for these Olympic Games,” he said.
“Therefore, we can say today, China is a winter sports country. This participation of more than 300 million Chinese people is a new era for global winter sports.”
According to a report released by the country’s winter sports governing body last month, the number of Chinese people who have participated in winter sports training, amateur or professional competitions, and outdoor and indoor winter sports-related leisure activities has reached 346 million, surpassing the goal of 300 million set in 2015 when Beijing won the Olympic bid.
“Such figures, I guess you can only achieve in China,” Bach said. “This is a unique achievement, opening a new era not only for winter sports in China, but for global winter sports.”
The president said ,the Beijing Winter Games will open “an enormous new fan base for the athletes”.
“They (the athletes) will not only have the opportunity to present themselves in China to these new winter sports enthusiasts, but they also have the opportunity with their performances, with their appearances, to open many new things for themselves and their sport. Especially for the time after these Olympic Winter Games,” he said.
“And therefore our credit goes to the organizing committee and the people of China and through these new winter sports enthusiasts for making these Games possible and engaging so much in the mission.
“The mission of these Olympic Games, like any Olympic Games, is bringing the world together in peace for the competition, uniting humankind in all our diversity, always building bridges and never erecting walls.”