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(ATR) In yet another example of the impact of the coronavirus on the Olympics and Paralympics, the customary World Press Briefing held in the host city will take place online October 19 to 22.
Beijing mascots Bing Dwen Dwen and Shuey Rhon Rhon.
Normally a three day meeting with venue tours and other first-hand encounters, the WPB for the 2022 Winter Olympics will be streamlined into two three-hour long sessions held across two days.
To accommodate the marked time differences, Beijing staff are preparing to be up late in the day for the briefing from 1900 to 2200 Beijing time.
In the Americas that will mean a sunrise start; in Europe early afternoon.
The WPB for PyeongChang in 2016. (ATR)
The third day of the WPB is set aside for unilateral meetings between staff and media on matters such as accommodation, rate card and transport.
A second phase of the WPB for on the scene inspection of Beijing Olympic venues is being planned for January. Presumably travel restrictions will be easing by then to permit entry to China. Organizers acknowledge that the in person visits will be subject to the coronavirus conditions at the time. Nonetheless, air travel may be difficult to book while visas from China may become more cumbersome to apply for.
This WPB will be the first under the watch of Lucia de Montanarella, who was named IOC Media Operations chief in January. A veteran of every Olympics since Turin 2006, she has been a constant in other media management posts and a WPB mainstay.
The last WPB for a Winter Games took place in 2016 in PyeongChang, South Korea and drew about 200 delegates.
Reported by Ed Hula.
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