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  • Beijing 2022 Press Briefing Too Brief for Some


    (ATR) The next host for the Winter Olympics reveals some details for the handover ceremony on Sunday night in PyeongChang while sidestepping questions about potential environmental issues for Beijing 2022.
    Zhang Yimou at press conference (ATR)

    Acclaimed movie director Zhang Yimou, who directed the opening and closing ceremonies of the Beijing 2008 Summer Games, is in charge of the Beijing portion of the closing ceremony in PyeongChang. He filled the same role in the closing ceremony at Athens 2004.

    He told reporters at a press conference on Saturday that the eight minute window for the handover ceremony is “too short” but that he and his team would “try our best to make good use of each of the seconds”.

    Zhang says the performance will include “modern methods” with AI (artificial intelligence) being “an element interacting with the real human actors” in what he believes will be a unique show. The internet will also be used for the interaction of the Chinese people and the rest of the world, with the images of about 60 million people being projected on the stage of the Olympic Stadium in PyeongChang.

    “After two months of rehearsals we think we are ready,” Zhang said, though he said he was a little concerned with the weather and hoped that it wouldn’t be too windy.

    Zhang was short on details but that is to be expected. He doesn’t want to spoil the performance for anyone.

    Beijing 2022 spokesman Chang Yu (ATR)
    But the lack of specifics about Beijing 2022’s environmental efforts appeared to frustrate some of the reporters at the briefing.

    In his opening remarks, Beijing 2022 director of media and communications Chang Yu said “what is important to note in planning and construction (is) we’re considering the environmental impact and long-term utilization of the venues we design.”

    But when asked on multiple occasions about the environmental issue of the water supply for the snowmakers at the ski venues, Chang sidestepped any specifics about where the water would be coming from in a region that doesn’t have a lot of it.

    “For the Zhangjiakou and Yanqing areas we already did a lot of environmental impact assessments which is required by the Chinese law,” Chang said, simply adding “We have enough resources for water.”

    The ski areas do not receive much natural snowfall and snowmakers will be a necessity for the Winter Games in 2022.

    Chang took only a few questions before leaving the press conference, with one reporter calling that “a pity” given the lack of access he was receiving from the Beijing 2022 delegation in PyeongChang.

    Written by Gerard Farek in PyeongChang

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