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Sustainability key to China's 2022 Winter Olympics

Editor: zhangrui 丨CRI

01-19-2017 06:58 BJT

China is gearing up for one of the most environmentally friendly winter games in Olympic history.

Apart from adapting some of the venues used in the 2008 Summer games, green concepts are also being integrated into the designs of new Olympic venues, including using advanced renewable technologies, with energy saving and environmentally-friendly materials.

China has also launched a campaign to encourage 300 million of its people to take up winter sports by the time the games are held in 2022.

It's believed China's preparations for the games will top the agenda at a meeting between Chinese President, Xi Jinping, and Olympic chief Thomas Bach scheduled for later Wednesday in Lausanne in Switzerland.

This will be the first visit to the headquarters of the International Olympic Committee by a Chinese president, and comes one and half years after Beijing, along with co-host city Zhangjiakou, won the bid to host the 2022 Winter Games, China's first ever Winter Olympics.

Preparation work for the events, according to officials from the Beijing Organizing Committee, is in full swing.

There will be a total of 25 venues for the winter Games, 12 of which will be used for competitions. Some venues built for the 2008 Games will again serve the athletes and spectators in 2022.

"For example, the opening and closing ceremonies will be staged in the Beijing National Stadium, or the Bird's Nest. The Beijing National Aquatics Center, or the Water Cube, will be transformed into rinks for curling competitions," says Gui Lin from the organizing committee.

Gui Lin added that during the planning phase of the venues, the committee prioritized the re-purposing of facilities to ensure their maximum reuse when the Games are over.

"We first think about how to use the venues after the Olympics, and who will manage them. We should, at first, confirm the areas and setup for post-match use, and then combine them with the requirements of the competitions. By doing so, we hope the venues could be in use after the Olympics."

Liu Xinping, who's in charge of sustainable development and planning with the organizing committee, says Green concepts are also being integrated into the designs of the Olympic venues.

"Some concrete measures are put forward during the designing process. For example, the electricity for lighting, venue operations and transportation will come from solar and wind power. The venues are designed using advanced renewable energy technologies, with energy saving and environmentally-friendly materials."

Liu Yaping, a scholar with Beijing Sport University, believes the 2022 Winter Olympic Games will significantly promote winter sports among the Chinese public.

"The 300 million people who take up winter sports not only show the number of people who are following the 2022 Olympic Games and the medal count; more importantly, the move will help enlarge China's sports population and help more people enjoy the benefits of winter sports."

Liu added that the initiative will bring tremendous opportunities for the sustainable development of winter sports in China and help boost the sector as a whole.

The scholar also expects the move to create a modern way of life centered on winter sports, which will have a positive effect on the whole of society. 

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