POSTED: July 27th 2015
NewsUpdate

Olympics: Beijing 2022 Opening Press Conference focuses on disabled athletes, cultural/tourism investment, snow...

From left to right... Lim Chee Wah, Chairman Genting Ski Resorts; Zhang Haidi, VP Beijing 2022 Bid Committee; Wang Hui, General Director of Beijing 2022 Press and Communications Department; and Eric Schwarz, Sports Features Communications
From left to right... Lim Chee Wah, Chairman Genting Ski Resorts; Zhang Haidi, VP Beijing 2022 Bid Committee; Wang Hui, General Director of Beijing 2022 Press and Communications Department; and Eric Schwarz, Sports Features Communications


DR. ERIC C. SCHWARZ at the Traders Hotel in KUALA LUMPUR / Sports Features Communications 

(SFC)  The first press conference by Beijing 2022 at the 128th International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia took place earlier today.  Hosted by Wang Hui, General Director of the Press and Communications Department of the Beijing 2022 Bid Committee, she was joined by Zhang Haidi, Vice-President of the 2022 Olympic Winter Games Bid Committee - who also serves as the Chairman of the China Disabled Persons Federation and the President of the China Paralympics Committee.  Also in attendance was Lim Chee Wah, Chairman of Genting Ski Resorts.

Zhang discussed her role with the Beijing 2022 bid committee, followed by her vision for this bid in helping the disabled community in its entirety by explaining that by hosting the Olympic and Paralympics Games, "it will help better the lives of 85 million [Chinese] that live with disabilities - and encourage them to participate in all parts of life, including sport".  She added that "beyond the 6800 registered athletes with disabilities that participate in competitions", the goal is to reach the larger disable population to enhance their "physical fitness, health, and social aspects of life".  She believes that "sport can change your life!"

Lim discussed how his investment in the Genting Ski Resorts came about.  He stated that "Beijing and the surrounding market is dense and a very big market... the population was to explode and young people have the wealth to participate in snow sports... and to develop the local economy in Zhangjiakou through tourism, as it would bring employment and new investment opportunities to the region.

The issue of lack of snow was discussed extensively, with an explanation by Lim that this was an unusual year for the region - but that this was a global issue as the Alps in Europe and Whistler in Canada (since of the 2010 Winter Olympics) also had a lack of snow this year.  However both Lim and Wang reiterated that this would not be an issue for the potential Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics.  Lim stated that "he would not have invested in ski resorts in the region if there was no snow!"  Wang added that "the region has plenty of water reserves to support snow making - and would only need 3% of the available water currently to support operations".  Lim further explained that "at Genting, we are actively collecting rainwater and storing it for future use in snow making", an effort that will reduce the environmental impact of snow making.

Numerous winter sports federations have certified that the facilities would be acceptable for use for an Olympic Games, including the International Skiing Federation (FIS).

The press conference concluded about a discussion about the spread of venues in three zones over a long distance.  Wang asserted that the 50 minute travel time between Beijing and Zhangjiakou is within the norm considering past Olympic Games, and "that our plans have been fully certified by numerous winter sport federations and the IOC to meet their needs."  She concluded that by spreading the Olympics over three zones "allows for the legacy to be more sustainable."

DR. ERIC C. SCHWARZ is a tenured Senior Lecturer of Sport Management at Victoria University in Melbourne, Australia.  He has been an academician for 15 years in the areas of sport business management, international tourism, and hospitality management - with special focus on the areas of sport marketing, sport finance, tourism, and facility/event management.  He speaks globally and is the author of numerous publications in these areas, as well as been actively involved in consulting projects working with a multitude of sport and community organizations ranging from grassroots efforts to hallmark events.  


Keywords · Beijing 2022 · 128th IOC Session · Olympics


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