Beijing undergoes Winter Olympics test

 

 

 

 

Photo – Internet

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING  |  2015-03-25 22:36:13

 

Beijing undergoes

Winter Olympics test

 

By Yao Yuan, Cheng Lu, Ni Yuanjin and Wu Mengda

 

 

Beijing is holding its breath in anticipation of becoming the first city in the world to host both the summer and winter Olympic Games.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) Evaluation Commission arrived on Monday of March 23 to review Beijing and neighboring province Hebei’s suitability to host the 2022 Winter Olympics.

The five-day inspection began in Beijing on Tuesday of March 24 with presentations and stadium tours. Wednesday of March 25 saw the 19-member team visit the suburban county of Yanqing, which is a potential location for events such as the bobsled and alpine skiing, before the delegation headed to Zhangjiakou, Hebei.

Beijing is in a two-horse race with Almaty, Kazakhstan, following the withdrawal of a number of bidders.

On paper, the odds seem stacked in favor of Beijing — it has solid experience of hosting international sporting events, strong financial support and infrastructure built for the 2008 Summer Olympics.

The success of the 2008 Games demonstrates China’s organizational prowess and also, in its favor, many of the first-class venues can be repurposed for the Winter Games, which, in the spirit of frugality advocated by IOC, will cut costs.

“Beijing’s Olympic stadiums are the biggest advantage it has,” said Yang Xiaochao, member of the Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China Beijing Municipal Committee.

Should Beijing’s bid be successful, most events will be held in existing venues. The Bird’s Nest and the Water Cube aquatics center have both been proposed for reuse in 2022, meaning the city will only need to build one stadium to accommodate ice sports events.

Evaluation Commission Chairman Alexander Zhukov praised Beijing Tuesday for maximizing the use of its existing venues, while acknowledging its success in hosting major international sporting events.

Beijing Mayor Wang Anshun said among the city’s “great strengths” was the strong support of sponsors, government financing departments and the public.

According to an opinion poll conducted last year by global market research company Ipsos, 94.8 percent of Chinese, including 91.8 percent in Beijing and 99.5 percent in Zhangjiakou, supported the 2022 bid.

A challenge facing Beijing’s bid is air quality. But in the meantime, the Olympic bid has been seen by many to have brought much needed momentum to environmental efforts, and expectations are high that the government will expedite pollution programs and regulations.

In 2014, Beijing shut down 392 polluting companies, slashed coal use by 2.8 million tonnes and phased out many heavy-polluting cars. Last week, the city closed the third of its four coal-burning plants and the last is scheduled to close next year.

The National Development and Reform Commission said 1.5 billion yuan (241.5 million U.S. dollars) would be allocated to six localities, including Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei, to help tackle air pollution.

In addition, Beijing had promised more than 40 billion yuan and enterprises would contribute 760 billion yuan to anti-pollution efforts, according to Wang Hui, deputy secretary general of the Beijing Winter Olympic Games Bid Committee.

The IOC will announce the host city on July 31 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

 

 

 

 

 

PHOTO REPORT  |  2015-03-24 13:26:28

 

Members of the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Evaluation Commission attend

the opening ceremony of the official presentation meeting in Beijing on March 24, 2015.

Members of the IOC Evaluation Commission are in China for a 5-day inspection visit of the

Candidate City for the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.   Photo by Gong Lei

 

Alexander Zhukov, chairman of the International Olympic Committee(IOC) Evaluation Commission,

delivers a speech during the opening ceremony of the official presentation meeting of the IOC

Evaluation Commission in Beijing on March 24, 2015.   Photo by Gong Lei

 

Liu Peng, Minister of General Administration of Sport of China and President of the Chinese

Olympic Committee, delivers a speech during the opening ceremony of the official presentation

meeting of the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Evaluation Commission in Beijing

on March 24, 2015.   Photo by Gong Lei

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING  |  2015-03-25 23:40:45

 

Beijing confirms

key infrastructure already

in place for Games

 

By Gao Peng and Wang Yong

 

 

The Beijing 2022 Bid Committee confirmed on Wednesday of March 25 that the key infrastructure required to host the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games is already in place, supported by the region’s status as a modern world-class destination for tourism and business with a strong experience in hosting international events.

The confirmation was delivered as the Bid Committee presented its plans regarding accommodation, transport and media operations to the IOC Evaluation Commission in Beijing.

Renowned as one of the world’s top destinations for business and tourism, Beijing enjoys quick and efficient transportation, world-class hotels, cosmopolitan cuisine and spectacular sightseeing. Last year, Beijing welcomed over 260 million domestic and international tourists eager to discover the millennia history of the Chinese capital and the exciting modern art, cuisine and entertainment scene it has to offer.

Yanqing, which would only be 20 minutes from Beijing by modern high-speed bullet train, is part of the Beijing Municipality, but even on its own the county registers a steady annual tourism growth of 4.3 percent with a rocketing hotel and services development boosted by preparations for the 2019 World Horticultural Expo.

Zhangjiakou, which would be reached in just 50 minutes from Beijing by modern high-speed bullet train, is a rapidly developing winter sports destination which has become very attractive to hotel and resort investment and has been seeing an average annual growth of 28.2 percent in hotel guest nights over the past three years.

Xiang Ping, Deputy Director of Beijing Municipal Foreign Affairs Office, said: “The IOC requirement for accommodation can be fully satisfied with our existing room supply. As there is no need for new hotels to be constructed for the Olympic Winter Games. The accommodation function will contribute to making Beijing 2022 truly sustainable and economical.”

Modern, quick and efficient transport is a key element of the Beijing 2022 Bid. An integral part of the government’s Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Intercity Rail Master Plan, the construction of the Beijing-Zhangjiakou high-speed rail link has already begun and will be fully operational by early 2019 and is being delivered independently from the Games.

The travel time from Beijing to Zhangjiakou will be just 50 minutes and the high speed service will be free of charge for all accredited Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games client groups, ticket-holding spectators and the extensive Games-time workforce. Vitally, travel time from the Olympic Village to any Olympic venue in each of the zones will be within just five to 15 minutes to ensure the maximum convenience for athletes and help them perform to their best.

Multiple motorways, an extensive green public transport system and one of the major airports hubs in Asia all combine to create an integrated transport plan that would provide excellent connectivity, punctuality, reliability and flexibility in the run up to and during the Games.

During the day, Beijing 2022 underlined China’s long experience in delivering state-of-the-art media facilities and managing complex media and broadcast operations for large international sports events, including the Beijing 2008 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The Bid Committee explained how they will fully utilize this experience for the 2022 Beijing Olympic Winter Games, helping fans all over the world to enjoy the Games and feel part of the Chinese New Year Spring Festival celebration, which falls during the 2022 Olympic Winter Games.

The Evaluation Commission heard plans to host both the International Broadcast Center (IBC) and Main Press Center (MPC) within the China National Convention Center (CNCC), which was the IBC for the 2008 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Without the need for additional construction or alteration, the CNCC already fully meets the IOC’s space and technical requirements, including the broadcast compound and satellite farm. It has a large number of experienced staff who worked on previous Games and other major international events. The reporters who had the opportunity to work at the Beijing 2008 Games remember the CNCC’s convenient central location, within just a five-minute walk from all venues in the Olympic Green.

Yanqing and Zhangjiakou will feature their own dedicated Mountain Media Centres, environmentally-friendly temporary facilities that will be dismantled and removed after the Games. Both centers will be located within a walking distance from the venues.

“Beijing 2022 will offer excellent and diverse media accommodation options adjacent to the venues and the media centres in mountain and city locations for all budgets and needs. The select media hotels are ideally located and perfectly integrated with the media and public transport systems to provide the media an easy and pleasant overall games and work experience,” said Xu Jicheng, Deputy Director of Communications of the Beijing 2022 Bid Committee.

Xiang Ping concluded: “With the renowned Chinese hospitality, world-famous cuisine and splendid entertainment, combining cultural, historical and natural experiences, Beijing 2022 offers an all-inclusive proposition. Beijing 2022 would be a truly joyful Games experience for all participants and visitors – with winter sports at its core, spiced with virtually unlimited, world-class entertainment, shopping and hospitality options, as well as cultural and sport activities.”

In the afternoon, the IOC Evaluation Commission delegates visited proposed sites and venues in Yanqing, which would host alpine skiing, luge, bobsleigh and skeleton events.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING  |   2015-03-25 10:37:07

 

Beijing’s advantages

in 2022 Winter Olympics bid

 

By Zhang Rongfeng and Wang Yong

 

 

The International Olympic Committee evaluation commission is accessing the city’s bid for the 2022 Winter Games.

Beijing is now in a two-city race to host the games with Almaty, Kazakhstan, following the withdrawal of a number of potential bidders. The IOC will select the host city on July 31 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Following is an analysis of the strong points about Beijing’s bid:

EXPERIENCES

Beijing has vast experiences in hosting major international events, including the Summer Olympics. The near flawless organization of the 2008 Summer Games should convince IOC members that awarding the Winter Games to the Chinese capital city is a safe choice.

FACILITIES

Beijing boasts of a number of first-class venues, some of which would be used for the Winter Games if Beijing wins the bid. The “Water Cube” aquatics center and the National Indoor Stadium are planned for hosting the competitions of ice sports, including figure skating, speed skating, ice hockey and curling.

PUBLIC SUPPORT

According to an opinion poll conducted last year by Ipsos, a global market research company, 94.8 percent of the Chinese people, including 91.8 percent in Beijing and 99.5 percent in Zhangjiakou, support the 2022 bid. The enormous enthusiasm and expectations of the Chinese people should be a key factor in the IOC vote.

LEGACY

The bid has offered China a good opportunity to promote the development of winter sports in the country and spread their popularity. It is estimated that over 300 million Chinese would be involved in winter sports if Beijing wins the right to host the 2022 Winter Games.

Holding the games would also provide greater impetus for reducing Beijing’s air pollution.

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING  |  2015-03-25 16:16:05

 

Villagers in N. China

profit from 2022 Winter Olympics bid

 

By Yue Dongxing

 

 

Which city, Almaty or Beijing, will be picked to host the 2022 Winter Olympics is still a wide open race, but there is already a big winner.

Villagers in Chongli, a small county in Zhangjiakou which will stage some snow events if Beijing wins the 2022 bid, have witnessed and made a profit from a winter sports boom since the Chinese capital announced a joint bid with neighboring Zhangjiakou.

Zhai Yujia, who started to learn skiing six years ago, was offered a job as a ski coach in Genting Ski Resort in 2013.

“Most visitors are beginners, so they need instructions,” said Zhai. “We are very busy during winter, especially on holidays.

“During the skiing season, I can earn more than twice,” she added.

The 20-year-old Zhai is just one of the hundreds of Chongli residents who jumped on the Winter Olympics bandwagon as the booming ski market has freed them from farming and provides more job positions.

An Bo, who was a lorry driver four years ago, is now a bellboy in Genting Grand Hotel.

“I like my job,” said An, adding that more than 20 people from his village now work in the hotel.

“Many of my friends returned home for a job in the skiing season,” said An.

According to Chongli county official Xue Liang, the first snowing piste was built in Chongli in 1996. A total of 82 skiing pistes totaling 69 kilometers have been completed over the past decade, and have attracted millions of skiers from Beijing, Shanghai and other parts of China.

“During the past 10 years, skiing has created more than 15,000 direct and indirect jobs in Chongli county,” said Xue.

Song Zhiyong, principal of Genting Skiing School, said there are about 100 skiing coaches, 70 percent up from 2010.

“Most of the newly recruited coaches are from Chongli county,” said Song. “Many young people from local villages learned skiing and gained skiing coach certificate, trying to have a slice of the cake.”

Chongli is about 200km northwest of Beijing. Construction on a high-speed railway line between Beijing and Zhangjiakou is expected to start this year, which will cut the travel time between the two cities from more than three hours to about 50 minutes.

The more convenient transport means a bright future for the local skiing industry, said Xue.

The ski boom in China is an attraction to foreign skiing instructor, too.

“I am planning to work here as an expert in the Genting Skiing Resort after my retirement,” said Rosemary Kelly, an AASI/PSIA certified instructor from the United States.

“I will definitely come to China if Beijing wins the bid to host the 2022 Winter Olympic Games.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meagan Duhamel (right) and Eric Radford of Canada compete during the Pairs Short Program

session in ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2015 at Crown Indoor Stadium, Oriental

Sports Center in Shanghai, China, on March 25, 2015. Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford took

the first place after short program with 76.98 points.   Photo by Wang Lili

 

 

 

 

SHANGHAI  |  2015-03-25 23:02:35

 

Canadian duo lead pairs

while China’s Pang/Tong shine

at Figure Skating worlds

 

By Li Jia and Zhu Hong

 

 

Meagan Duhamel/Eric Redford of Canada took the lead in the pairs short program at the ISU Figure Skating worlds here on Wednesday of March 25.

The 2014 and 2013 world championships bronze medallists danced passionately to the music Un peu plus haut by Ginette Reno to rank first with 76.98 points.

China’s veteran Pang Qing/Tong Jian, who had retired after the Sochi Games but made a come back this year, trailed with 72.59. Sui Wenjing/Han Cong of China came third in 71.63.

Pang and Tong, two-time world championships winner and three-time world medallists, attracted most attention on the ice.

“We have given up a lot to carry on our career,” said Tong, 35. “But we also have been given a lot from the ice. We hope we can do better in the free dance and have a good sleep tonight.”

The loving couple agreed that their relationship may be a reason for their persistence on figure skating.

“I have never thought about it but I think it could be a reason,” Tong laughed. “We can leave competition but we can’t leave each other. The happiest thing for me is having her.”

Talking about Beijing’s bidding for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games, Pang said they will do all they can to help. “We will do all we can, and we do have some plans but we want to talk about it later.”

Young pair Sui and Han, the 2014 Four Continents champions, looked excited with their result. “We prepared very well and we performed our best level here,” said the 19-year-old Sui.

“We are good friends,” Sui said when asked about Han. “Sometimes we fight, but we make it up very soon.”

China’s Zhang Hao/Peng Cheng, the eighth at the Sochi Winter Games, danced to Tchaikovsky’s Arabian Dance and took the fifth with 69.67.

“We performed our normal level,” said Peng, 17. “But I am so nervous to compete at home and made some mistakes.”

Zhang is expecting more Olympic Games. “As Beijing is bidding for the 2022 Games, I hope I can participate the 2022 Games as well as the 2018 Games,” said the four-time Olympian.

American pair Madison Chock/Evan Bates, the eighth at the Sochi 2014 Games and 2015 Four Continents silver medallists, led the short dance with a season best 74.47 points. Canadian Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje, runners-up at the 2014 World Championships, trailed in 72.68, while Italy’s Anna Cappellini/Luca Lanotte were third in 72.39.

“It really feels so good to skate our season best,” said Chock. “We’ve worked so hard for this moment, and we skated really well. It’s always great to have that (season best) at world championships. We hope to show good performance in the free dance.”

The Canadians said they will make a come back in the free dance.

“Our silver medal last year is what made us so strong,” said Weaver. “I know that we can push through anything. Being second is not a new thing for us, so we are fighters, and we know how to come back. Our free dance is our favourite program so we are looking forward to skate it with full force.”

China’s Wang Shiyue and Liu Xinyu finished 18th at the short dance and the top 20 qualify for the free dance.

“It is not our best dance because we have done better at training,” said Wang. “It’s our first world championships and I felt nervous.”

The free dance of ice dance will take place on Friday. Thursday will see lady’s short program and pair’s free dance.

 

 

Pang Qing (top) and Tong Jian of China compete during the Pairs Short Program session in ISU

World Figure Skating Championships 2015 at Crown Indoor Stadium, Oriental Sports Center

in Shanghai, China, on March 25, 2015.   Photo by Wang Lili

 

Pang Qing (left) and Tong Jian of China compete during the Pairs Short Program session in ISU

World Figure Skating Championships 2015 at Crown Indoor Stadium, Oriental Sports Center

in Shanghai, China, on March 25, 2015. Pang Qing and Tong Jian took the second place after

short program with 72.59 points.   Photo by Wang Lili

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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