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Winter Olympics in China

By Muhammad Asif Noor | China Economic Net Sep 4, 2021

Editor's note: The writer is  Director of Institute of Peace and Diplomatic Studies, Pakistan. The article reflects the author's opinions and not necessarily the views of China Economic Net.

As the Tokyo Paralympics is drawing to an end, China with its outstanding medal table performance is all set to move ahead for Winter Olympics 2022 despite Covid-19 constraints. Physical infrastructure for sports has been developed and administrative plans to organize events and manage competitions are being carried out. China is not new to hosting the Olympics. With the experience of hosting the extraordinary Beijing Olympics in 2008, the country has proved itself to be a global sports leader. With remarkable athletes, world-class sports associations, sports and fitness facilities, grandeur sport-related business enterprises, and fruitful anti-pandemic efforts, China is standing against all odds to celebrate the Winter Olympics with success.

Sports exchange and development have remained central to Chinese national goals. A lifestyle for a better mind, body, and soul is what China has been focusing on. With the new economic boom, the Chinese government has been emphasizing that healthy individuals with healthy minds can contribute to national rejuvenation. The Winter Olympics can also help promote China’s global soft image, demonstrate its capability in organizing international events, and reflect the physical endurance and excellence of the athletes. After the 2008 Olympics, China hosted the Paralympics in January 2021, boosting Chinese morale to gear up for yet another Olympics which would make Beijing the first ‘Double Olympics City’ in the world. The upcoming winter Olympics will be held in February 2022 while its ceremonial inauguration and celebrations will kick start in October 2021 with a torch relay ceremony, operationalization of the games, coupled with relevant cultural activities. 

In the upcoming mega event where China plans to gather 300 million people for ice and snow sports, it faces two major challenges. The foremost is the global pandemic that calls for robust containment and prevention strategies for athletes and spectators. China and the International Olympics Committee are cooperating to strengthen the vaccination regime and crisis management system for the public. The second challenge is multi-dimensional with four central goals i.e. Clean Olympics, Green Olympics, Open Olympics, and Inclusive Olympics. China is devising separate strategies to ensure the Olympics are environmentally friendly and socially integrated for open participation and equal opportunities.  

Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Mr. Nong Rong has explained the Chinese vision to organize the Winter Olympics 2022. The Clean Olympics refers to transparent and stringent budget control, cost-effective project execution, and zero tolerance to doping to ensure an ice-like clean sports experience. The Green Olympics refers to an ambitious idea of consuming 100 % clean energy for the whole event facilitated by resource conversion. Inclusive Olympics refers to joint participation, collective efforts, and mutual enjoyment during the games. The whole social fabric of the host city is expected to be mobilized in dedication to Olympians.

The Olympic committee has been vigorously working to promote winter sports by facilitating athletes' training, a competitive environment, and real-time gaming for spectators. Last but not least is the principle of Open Olympics which calls for equal and open participation for athletes all around the world. The Olympics Organizing Committee in China has initiated sports exchange programs with friendly nations to boost athletic training. To learn more experience from other states and sports events in China, the committee intends to offer a state-of-the-art gaming experience to the world validating the Chinese capacity to uphold the promise of ‘fantastic, extraordinary and excellent’ Olympics. 

Chinese performance in the Summer Olympics Tokyo 2020 with 38 gold medals speaks of its vigorous training and sports standards. China was declared to host the 2022 Winter Games while it hosted Summer Olympics 2008 with $40 billion spendings. The fact that China hosted two major sports events twice in 14 years further testifies its aspirations and potential in sports. Driven by its success in the Olympics, China seeks sports cooperation with its partners to boost public diplomacy. There is no denying the fact that victory in sports brings national pride and makes it an attractive area of cooperation and China is standing on the verge of this watershed moment. 

Muhammad Asif Noor, the writer is Founder Director- Center for BRI and China Studies and Founder Friends of BRI Forum- Institute of Peace and Diplomatic Studies.

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