POSTED: July 28th 2015

Olympics: Chinese Athletes show their support for Beijing 2022 Bid

From left to right... Hongbo Zhao; Shen Xue, and Jicheng Xu
From left to right... Hongbo Zhao; Shen Xue, and Jicheng Xu

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

(SFC)  Today in Kuala Lumpur in the lead-up to the 128th IOC Session, the Beijing 2022 bid committee hosted a press conference featuring Shen Xue and Hongbo Zhao, Beijing 2022 Ambassador and a three-time pairs figure skating world champions; and Jicheng Xu, vice communications director of the Beijing 2022 Bid Committee.

The press conference focused on the athletes' perception of Beijing becoming the host for the 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games.  Zhou said "we look forward to welcoming the athletes from around the world to China as host city - and will also help promote the sustainable growth of winter sports involvement in China."  Xue added "if we are honored to get the hosting rights to the 2022 Games we can show the world our capacity of hosting international events and also we can present the athletes from all over the world a very unique experience."

Concerns about air pollution, especially in Beijing, were addressed by the athletes.  Zhao said that "there have been great improvements in air quality over the past few years" and they seem confident that this trend will continue because as Xue added "the citizens are demanding it".  The athletes have been actively involved with the Beijing 2022 Bid Committee alerting them to the importance of this issue as a key outcome to result from hosting the Olympic Games., and in fact an Athletes Committee has been set up to address this and other athlete-centered issues.

Xu provided information about what has been done to date. "Beijing has air pollution, but over the past five years we have implemented a plan and a budget to ensure that all practical measures to reduce the pollution... since this was instituted the air quality in Beijing has over the past five years improved by 90%... and this is not an issue in the northern mountain areas where the air quality is at a very high standard.

Also discussed was the issue of the lack of natural snow.  Xue asserted that this is not an issue in Beijing because the sports that will be hosted there are ice sports that take place indoors, and the snow sports will take place in Yanqing and Zhangziakou, where multiple winter sports international federations have certified our facilities as being adequate for hosting an Olympic Games.

In addition, Xue explained that regardless of the amount of natural snow, most snow sport athletes need an element of artificially manufactured snow to make the sports more viable.  Xu further validated that the average snowfall for a winter in the region is 70 centimeters, more than enough to host winter sports events.

"If the IOC did not think we had enough snow, they would not have certified us as a candidate for the Olympics" Xue added.  We will see if Beijing 2022 is correct when the vote for the winner of bid takes place this Friday...

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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