Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics on Track Despite Impact of Coronavirus
17th June 2020
Last modified on June 21st, 2020
The International Olympic Committee and the International Ski Federation have praised the organisers after video conference calls. Concerns are rising though about international tensions with China following covid-19 & events in Hong Kong.
The covid-19 pandemic has produced ‘challenges’ and the Olympic representatives have offered sympathy to those affected.
The IOC’s Coordination Commission praised the progress being made by the Beijing 2022 Organising Committee, as preparations for the next Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games continue.
The Commission was joined by the International Ski Federation, FIS.
FIS was represented by the President Gian Franco Kasper and the Secretary General Sarah Lewis.
“China has faced an incredibly difficult period over the past few months – our thoughts are with all those impacted,” said the IOC Coordination Commission Chair, Juan Antonio Samaranch.
“We are glad to see a significant improvement in the situation in China, allowing the Organising Committee to return to almost normal working conditions.
“Despite these unique circumstances, Beijing 2022 has continued to meet key milestones, a true testament to its determination to provide the perfect stage for the world’s top winter athletes in just under two years’ time.”
Here at PlanetSKI we reported earlier as work resumed on preparations after the pandemic eased, Coronavirus impact on Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics
The Opening Ceremony is due to take place on February 4th, 2022.
Events will be held at three main venues: Beijing, Yanqing and Zhangjiakou.
Beijing 2022 confirmed that it is now in the ‘readiness’ phase.
- The construction of 13 venues and auxiliary projects in Yanqing, one of the three competition zones for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, will be completed by the end of 2020.
- The National Alpine Skiing Centre and the National Sliding Centre are 90% and 88% completed.
- The Winter Olympic Village and Mountain News Centre is more than 50% finished.
- The end of June will see the completion of construction of the transfer center that serves as the station for the Yanqing branch of the Beijing-Zhangjiakou high-speed rail.
- The Ice Jar indoor training venue in the Beijing competition zone is completed. The venue has two international standard ice rinks – one for curling, the other for short track speed skating.
- The 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics skiing venue of Chongli, north China’s Hebei Province, has built 10 waste transfer stations to fully cover garbage collection and transportation. Chongli is located some 200 km northwest of Beijing.
The ability of international experts, officials and athletes to be able to travel to China will need to be closely monitored, and mitigation measures will be taken should restrictions prove disruptive.
The impact of the postponing the 2020 Tokyo Summer Games to 2021 will also be kept under review for any knock-on impact it may have.
The IOC President, Thomas Bach, has previously claimed that the close proximity of the events could be beneficial as it “will keep and even raise the awareness of the world for the Olympic Games at a very high level.”
“It was valuable to reconnect with the Beijing 2022 Organising Committee and the stakeholders to receive the latest status and planning for this next important pre-Olympic season,” said the President of FIS, Gian Franco Kasper.
“We have FIS World Cup competitions taking place in February 2021 that serve as the official test events in all the FIS disciplines alongside the Zhangjiakou 2021 FIS Freestyle Skiing, Freeski and Snowboard World Championships.
“Progress with the venues could be carried out with relatively little disruption throughout the past months and the planning for the upcoming competitions is moving forwards very well.”
China’s international relations with several countries have deteriorated in recent months, owing to a number of issues including the coronavirus crisis, border disputes and political developments in Hong Kong.
There have been some skirmishes between troops on the China-India border.
The new national security laws in Hong Kong have been criticised by the USA, United Kingdom, Canada and Australia among others.
Beijing is set to become the first city to host both the Summer and Winter Olympic Games.