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One-year countdown: Beijing Winter Olympics is on the way

By Yi Fan (People's Daily Online)    16:03, February 04, 2021

(Photo/Xinhua)

The day of 4 February marks the one-year countdown to the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. Six years after being selected to host the games, China is steadily getting closer to delivering on its commitment-A Joyful Rendezvous upon Pure Ice and Snow.

From the Lake Placid debut to winning the first gold medal in Salt Lake City, from a participant to the host, the past years have seen China play an increasing part in the Winter Olympics and the development of winter sports. Beijing, having played host to the Summer Olympics in 2008, will be the first city to have hosted both the Summer and Winter Games and will make its unique contribution to the Olympic movement.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, talks with athletes and coaches while visiting the Capital Gymnasium in Haidian District, Beijing, capital of China, Jan. 18, 2021. Xi on Monday inspected the preparatory work of the Beijing 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Beijing. (Xinhua/Ju Peng)

As underlined by President Xi Jinping, hosting a successful Winter Olympics is an important event for China and a solemn commitment that it makes to the world. This is both an honor and a great responsibility. With dedicated efforts over the past years, China is on course to live up to this commitment. All the venues have been completed on schedule, ready to welcome athletes from around the world for a fantastic, extraordinary and excellent games.

The Beijing Winter Olympics will embody China's new development philosophy. A major event held in the early stage in the country's 14th five-year plan period, Beijing 2022 has taken on special significance. The guiding principles-"green, inclusive, open and clean"-reflects the country's new philosophy of innovative, coordinated, green and open development for the benefit of all. As an important practice and useful experiment of the new philosophy, the games will contribute to China's modernization process.

Photo taken on Jan. 22, 2021 shows the interior view of the National Speed Skating Oval in Beijing, which has finished ice-making trials. (Xinhua/Ju Huanzong)

The Beijing Winter Olympics will catalyze the development of winter sports. While committed to hosting a great games, China aims to encourage as many as 300 million Chinese people to embrace ice and snow sports. This vision is gradually becoming a reality. Winter sports are no longer restricted to the Northern or Northeastern provinces where there has been a long tradition, but have become more and more popular across the country. The growing enthusiasm and public participation will advance the development of winter sports globally.

International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach announces that Beijing won the bid to host the 2022 Olympic Winter Games at the 128th International Olympic Committee session in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, July 31, 2015.(Xinhua/Gong Lei)

The Beijing Winter Olympics will help bring the world together against adversity. The COVID-19 pandemic has plunged the world economy into its worst recession since the 1940s. People's safety and health face serious threat. Sport is about courage and tenacity, about never giving up, and about pushing one's limits. This is exactly what we need now to prevail over the virus, get our life back to normal, and put the global economy back on track.

(Photo/CGTN)

The Beijing Winter Olympics will be an opportunity to deepen friendship and solidarity among nations. The coronavirus may have put travels on halt, yet it cannot stop people from interacting with one another. International exchanges in sports have played a vital role in promoting dialogue, understanding, and bond among peoples. Cases in point include the famous "ping-pong diplomacy" between China and the United States when "the little ball moved the big ball", and the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics when the DPRK and ROK delegations marched together during the opening ceremony.

The Beijing Winter Olympics, when opens a year later, will provide an arena for athletes from around the world to compete for excellence. More importantly, it will serve as a bridge for mutual learning and mutual understanding. As humanity is confronted with multiple global challenges, the world needs to come together for dialogue, engagement and harmony through openness and inclusiveness. As a Chinese saying goes, "A single flower does not make spring; One hundred flowers in full blossom bring spring to the garden." The traditional Chinese culture values "harmony without uniformity" and appreciates diversity. The Chinese wisdom resonates with and enriches the Olympic spirit-mutual understanding, friendship and solidarity.

A view of the National Sliding Center in Yanqing District of Beijing, capital of China, on Dec. 29, 2020. (Xinhua/Zhang Chenlin)

"Simplicity, safety and excellence"-this is what China will pursue in hosting this Winter Olympics, a streamlined yet smooth games; a safe event, within the unprecedented context of COVID-19 pandemic; and an excellent and exciting moment shared by the people in China and around the world.

A fantastic Beijing Winter Olympics will go a long way toward promoting development of sports, unite the world in the fight to defeat COVID-19, and enhance exchanges and mutual learning among cultures and civilizations.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)
(Web editor: Meng Bin, Liang Jun)

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