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  • World Press Briefing Goes Virtual


    (ATR) More than 250 media representatives are participating in the Beijing 2022 World Press Briefing, held entirely on line, a first for an Olympic Games organizing committee.
    The WPB was held using the Blue Jeans meeting app.

    The three-day meeting covered all of the principal topics usually presented in a WPB, usually held once or twice ahead of the Olympics.

    Monday’s opening session covered sport, venue and infrastructure, the Main Press Center, logistics and venue press operations, language services, photo operations and the OIS and technology. Tuesday  dealth with accreditation and accommodations, arrivals and departures, transportation, rate card and security.  A third day on Wednesday is meant for photo briefing and one on one meetings with Beijing 2022 media staff.

    Beijing 2022 secretary general Han Zirong and Xu Jicheng, a popular basketball commentator in China and veteran from the 2008 media team  moderated the online sessions held through BlueJeans video conferencing. Media asked questions via an online chat box, answers provided during discussions or through email afterwards.

    The IOC head of media operations Lucia Montanarella and Anthony Edgar, who formerly held the same position prior to his retirement in January, also interacted with participants and answered questions throughout the virtual session.

    Beijing 2022 International Relations Department representative He Jinghan provided an overview of arrivals and departures procedures. She noted that media pickups from the
    Secretary General Han Zirong with media chief Xu Jicheng at the WPB.
    Chinese capital’s two major international airports will begin on January 21 and continue 55 days through the conclusion of the Paralympics. Possible quarantine procedures upon arrival and departure were also briefly discussed.

    Travel times between the two airports and Beijing 2022’s three clusters – the Beijing Zone, Yanqing, and Zhangjiakou – were also included in the presentation. The longest bus trip from Beijing Capital International Airport to the Zhangjiakou mountain cluster is 194 kilometers and will take three hours.

    Edgar, who has worked on media operations at the IOC for 18 years gave a vote of confidence to Beijing’s transportations plans.

    “The 2008 transport manager is consulting the Beijing 2022 manager and Beijing 2022 is absolutely committed to providing you, the media, with a similar service for a Winter Games to have very efficient, fast, and warm transport to and from your accommodations to the city and mountains,” Edgar said.

    “They have a very good handle on the transport at this stage.”
    IOC Media Operations director Lucia Montanarella connected to the WPB from IOC headquarters in Lausanne.

    Montanarella says organizers are working towards potential venue tours at a future date when conditions will allow..

    “I believe that everyone is absolutely certain on the ability of BOCOG to put together some fantastic Winter Games with excellent media services,” she said.

    Beijing 2022 secretary general Han Zirong vowed the organizing committee’s dedication and perseverance in delivering successful Games in February of 2022.

    “Faced with the difficult situation of the pandemic we can have this meeting and have adequate conversations and exchanges online,” she said.

    “We will not stop and we will continue despite the difficulty of any situation. We will deliver an Olympic Games that will measure up to everyone’s expectations.”

    Written by Brian Pinelli