(ATR) Beijing 2022 personnel confidently addressed media, appearing well rehearsed, yet maintaining a friendly and relaxed manner.
Zhao Yinggang (left) addresses media on Monday in Kuala Lumpur. (ATR)
Zhao Yinggang, Beijing 2022 vice secretary general of sports, expressed the delegation’s painstaking preparations, asserting great confidence ahead of Friday’s (July 31) IOC vote for the 2022 Winter Olympic host city.
“We’re now in the final sprint stage preparing actively, intensely on a daily basis to make our final, decisive presentation to the IOC at its 128th session here in Kuala Lumpur,” Yinggang said.
Two semi-informal media sessions were held in a small conference room at Kuala Lumpur’s Traders Hotel, where a majority of the Beijing 2022 delegation are staying this week. Attending media appeared to be approximately 90% Chinese with no journalists from lone rival Kazakhstan present.
Yinggang re-iterated China’s ambitions of growing winter sport and inspiring 300 million citizens to get involved in snow and ice sports.
“If we are successful with this bid, and we are extremely confident and hopeful, we will carry out major efforts to prepare thoroughly for the Games and to develop winter sports in our country,” Yinggang said.
The Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur (ATR)
Answering a journalist from Hong Kong, Yinggang denied that skiing will only be a “luxury sport” in China over the years ahead.
With keen attention to detail and helping to convey Beijing’s winter sports message, framed wintry pictures of the Bird's Nest stadium under snow cover, skiers and other Chinese athletes partaking in winter sport were strategically displayed outside the room.
As usual, as has been a major talking point in the race for 2022, the topic of snow arose. Beijing 2022 was asked if they were at all concerned that the IOC was impressed with Almaty’s deep natural snow in its neighboring mountains.
“We might not have several meters high of natural snowfall as you would find in other countries, but you can’t have a Winter Olympics and make it successful just by the virtue of having deep snow,” said Wang Hui, Beijing 2022 vice president of communications.
“In addition to snow, you also need to have the capacity to receive Games clients, to organize Games, to provide all the necessary facilities for tourists, and to have strong security arrangements in all of these other areas,” she said.
“In the unlikely event of extreme weather conditions, we have the capacity to rely entirely on our artificial snowmaking and fully comply with all snow requirements.”
Zhang Haidi, chairperson of China Disabled Persons' federation and a bid consultant, addressed the same question focusing on Beijing’s merits.
“I don’t think there is any reason at all to be concerned. I’ve seen Beijing’s rapid development,” Zhang said.
Beijing 2022 consultant Wei Jizhong (ATR)
“Development in Beijing is lightning fast – you can’t keep up with the rapid development.”
Former Chinese NOC vice president and bid consultant Wei Jizhong was asked if there are global benefits of three eastern Asian cities potentially hosting three consecutive Olympic Games.
“Beijing 2022 will be a Games for the world, not just for Asia,” Wei said. “We will welcome athletes from all over the world.”
If successful in its bid, Beijing will become the first city in history to host both the Summer and Winter Olympic Games.
is told that Beijing has a bid delegation of around 100 representatives, in addition to Weber Shandwick public relations and other support staff.
Former NBA star and Chinese basketball legend Yao Ming has arrived to Kuala Lumpur and will likely be key players in Beijing’s final presentation to the IOC on Friday.
Written by Brian Pinelli in Kuala Lumpur
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