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Beijing's Winter Olympics bid enjoys unprecedented support

(Xinhua)    12:21, March 19, 2015

BEIJING, March 19 -- International Olympic Committee (IOC) evaluation commission are set to receive a heart-felt welcome when they visit Beijing with over 90 percent of support rate on the city's bid for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games.

According to the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games Bid Committee, the average domestic support rate has reached 94.8 percent. For Beijing, which bids to become the first city hosting both Summer and Winter Olympics, the rate is around 91 percent. For Zhangjiakou, the co-host city for most snow events and about 200km northwest of Beijing, the ratio is 99.9.

Such a high rate, together with sustained social stability, rapid economic growth and rich experience obtained from past events, could ensure China to live up to every commitment she has made.

So far, Beijing and Kazakhstan's Almaty are the only two candidates left. But there were once other runners in the race, such as Poland's Krakow, Ukraine's Lviv, Sweden's Stockholm and Norway's Oslo.

Krakow's bid was submitted to a local referendum held in May 2014, which had a negative result. After that Krakow discontinued the application.

Lviv's bid went abortive as a result of the political and economical instability in Ukraine.

Stockholm dropped its bid in January 2014 due to lack of political support.

Oslo decided to immediately terminate further work on the application in October 2014 when Norway's Conservative Party announced that they would not support the bid.

In China, things are different. From top leaders to ordinary people, the whole nation enthusiastically support the joint bid of Beijing and Zhangjiakou for the Games.

They believe that the Olympic Movement brings them not only sports fun and healthy lifestyle, but also job opportunities, improved living conditions, better quality of life, and regional development in the long run.

In his letters to the IOC, Chinese President Xi Jinping said, "As President of the People's Republic of China, I would like to solemnly pledge to you my full support of Beijing's bid for the 2022 Olympic Winter Games."

"The 2022 Olympic Winter Games, if held in China, will not only ignite the passion of the 1.3 billion Chinese People for Olympic winter sports, but also promote exchanges between the ancient Chinese civilization and other civilizations in the world. The Chinese people are hoping to make new contributions to the progress of human civilization through hosting the Olympic Winter Games," Xi added.

"Give China a chance and China will give the world a miracle in return," Xi said.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said the government "fully supports" the bid.

"Each and every effort of Beijing related to the 2022 Olympic Winter Games shall obtain guarantees from the Chinese government, including infrastructure development such as sport venues, transport system, the legal aspects and the Games security," Li said.

"The guarantee of the government, the passion of the people and the commitment of the Candidate City will be as strong and steady as they were for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games."

State leaders' promises and high public support have fueled the Chinese Olympic Committee head Liu Peng and Beijing mayor Wang Anshun with confidence.

"We firmly believe that with the full support of the Chinese government and the Chinese people, Beijing will offer the best possible environment and conditions for the 2022 Olympic Winter Games," Liu said.

"Strong support from the government and people of China, outstanding infrastructure in place from the Beijing 2008 Games, China's extensive experience in hosting major international sporting events, a controlled budget, a pool of experienced professionals, as well as strong support from the business community - all these factors give us great confidence that we can deliver a spectacular, sustainable and safe edition of the Games in Beijing and Zhangjiakou in 2022," said Wang

When people work hard for the Olympics, the Olympics change their life for the better in return.

Zhang Haidi, president of the National Paralympic Committee of China, believes that Beijing's bid gives people with disabilities more reasons to hope for.

"In the past six years, the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games and Paralympics Games have been a powerful propeller for the development of China's cause for people with disabilities," she said.

"Today, we are delighted to see Beijing striding firmly in its bid for the 2022 Olympic Winter Games, which will undoubtedly advance the development of Paralympic sports in China, the winter sports in particular."

As for Zhangjiakou, the bid already is the best publicity campaign for the city of ski resorts which drew over 60,000 ski fans daily during China's Spring Festival holidays.

"Since the bid was submitted more than a year ago, winter sports industry in Zhangjiakou has been on a fast track and attracted much investments," said Hou Liang, mayor of Zhangjiakou.

As a visible rise in people's participation in winter sports came with the bid, Ye Qiaobo, China's first-ever Winter Olympic medalist, believes it is no longer a dream to involve 300 million Chinese in winter sports.

Former NBA star Yao Ming agreed, saying the Olympics delivers to Chinese the true meaning of sports.

"Sport has become a healthy and positive life style instead of an arena for medals only," he said. "I believe, if Winter Olympics comes to China seven years later, it will be another boost to the social development," Yao added.

Bian Zhiliang, the chairman of the Shandong Mount Tai Sports Industry Group, told Xinhua that if Beijing wins the bid, it will definitely boost the Chinese sports industry.

"I believe Beijing is capable of holding a best-ever Winter Olympics," he said.

The IOC evaluation team will visit Beijing from March 24 to 28 and the 60-year-old Hong Kong kung fu actor Jackie Chan has recorded a song "Wake up Winter" as a welcome gesture.

The 2022 host city will be elected on July 31, 2015, at the 128th IOC Session in Kuala Lumpur.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Kong Defang,Bianji)

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