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Beijing 2022 ready to fight uphill battle ahead, says organizers' vice president

2020-09-21 10:40:00 Xinhuanet

BEIJING, Sept. 21 (Xinhua) -- It has been more than five years since Beijing won the bid for the 2022 Olympic Winter Games, and in the eyes of Han Zirong, Beijing has passed the halfway mark of the marathon leading up to the Games and is ready for more challenges ahead.

"We are now more than halfway through our journey but face an uphill battle ahead," the vice president and secretary-general of the Beijing 2022 Organizing Committee told Xinhua in an exclusive interview.

The road so far has been far from easy, especially given the difficulties created by the global COVID-19 pandemic, which "brought an extra load and challenges" for the organizers, who spared no effort delivering on their promise of a 'green, inclusive, open and clean' Games.

Using 100% clean energy for the Games venues, and natural carbon dioxide as refrigerant to lower carbon emissions to nearly zero in the ice-making process are some of the steps taken to make the Games green.

Taking the Winter Games as a chance to boost tourism and creat more jobs for people in the region, and promoting Olympic education nationwide with 1,036 more schools launching winter sports programs, all contributed to making the program more 'inclusive.'

The Organizing Committee worked closely with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), International Federations (IFs) as well as PyeongChang 2018 and Tokyo 2020 organizers and foreign experts for their expertise in event organization, track design and other areas, demonstrating Beijing's 'opening' gesture.

Simplifying the Olympics and learning from Tokyo's good practices, and auditing the projects are integral parts of safeguarding a 'clean' Olympic Winter Games.

Above are the achievements highlighted by Han, and are among the continuous efforts made by Beijing to honor its commitments.

Looking at the 500 days to come, Han named the milestones that Beijing 2022 will meet in the "uphill battle ahead."

The competition calendar will be confirmed, with the first proposal including 228 competition sessions across 19 matchdays. Based on the current plan, mixed doubles curling will be the first event two days before the opening ceremony while the women's 30km cross-country skiing wraps up the matches in the afternoon of the closing day.

Preferred medal and pictogram designs were chosen by a panel of experts after an online call for entries ended, and will be released in the first half of 2021 after the necessary modifications have been made.

The design of the torch needs to take into consideration its applicability with an interior combustor before being finalized, and the route for the torch relay requires careful deliberation. Plans for the opening and closing ceremonies will also see further refinement.

"We will continue to work closely with the IOC, the IPC and other stake holders involved to deal with the challenges properly and ensure our preparatory work advances steadily," Han concluded. Enditem

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