Promote the Olympic spirit and create a better future together

by Lan Heping, Chargé d'affaires, a.i. of the Chinese Embassy in Canada  (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

The 24th Winter Olympic Games which have attracted worldwide attention have come to a successful conclusion in Beijing. I am very glad to see that the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games, as the first international multi-sport event held as scheduled since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, have been highly commended by leaders of many countries as well as heads of international organizations and media outlets. Athletes from all over the world, including Canada, were excited about participating in the Winter Olympics and enjoying winter sports. The Beijing Winter Olympic Games, which were “streamlined, safe, splendid” and united, have left us with an unforgettable impression.

This is a simple event. Beijing Winter Olympics have been energy efficient and environmental friendly without extravagance. A “micro-flame”, instead of a roaring fire, was lit at the opening ceremony for the games. All the 26 venues in the three competition zones were fully powered by green electricity. Carbon dioxide transcritical direct cooling ice technology for ice-making was used for the first time. A steel frame structure system easy to recycle was adopted. The demand of the event and the utilization of the facilities after the Olympics were taken into full account. And China revamped many of the venues from the 2008 Games for the 2022 competitions to avoid extravagance and unnecessary construction. Six competition venues are being reused from the Olympic Games in 2008. The National Aquatics Center, known as the “Water Cube”, for instance, was transformed into the “Ice Cube”, where curling competitions were staged. And Shougang Industrial Park became a venue for freestyle skiing and big air events of snowboard. The organizing committee of the Games adopted stringent budget management and controlled the Games' costs, persisting in borrowing but not renting, renting but not buying and joint procurement, with the proportion of rent in all materials reaching about 70 percent and the overall fund saving rate of procurement exceeding 10 percent.

The winter Olympics have proven safe. China’s stringent and effective COVID-19 epidemic prevention have ensured the delivery of the Beijing Olympic Winter Games as scheduled. During the Winter Olympics, all participants were in a “closed loop” bubble, so that they had no contact with the public outside, and underwent daily health tests and nucleic acid tests, which eliminated the risk of infection. “We are hosting the Olympics in the safest place in the world,” said Dr Brian McCloskey, Chair of the Beijing 2022 Medical Expert Panel. “It’s really safe to be in the bubble,” Dirk Schimmelpfennig, head of Germany’s delegation, told the German media. In addition, the Beijing Winter Olympic Games have done a good job in event organization, venue operation, service and emergency response, all of which guaranteed the success of the Winter Olympic Games.

This is a splendid event. Beijing 2022 featured more events and produced more gold medals than any previous Winter Games. The four new mixed team events and freestyle skiing big air were highly enjoyable and had great visual impact. Female athletes ratio reached record high. Nearly 3,000 athletes from approximately 91 countries and regions competed at Beijing 2022, breaking two world records and 17 Olympic records. A series of high technologies, including the “fastest ice” using the latest technology, the first 5G technology-based event broadcast, the 100-meter and minute-level operational weather forecast, artificial intelligence and virtual reality technology application, made the Beijing Winter Olympics more splendid. The Beijing Winter Olympics have become the most viewed Winter Games in history.

This is a united event. As the first Winter Olympic Games with the notion of “Together” added to the Olympic motto, the event attracted about 170 official representatives from nearly 70 countries, regions and international organizations. Many tropical and subtropical countries and regions also sent athletes to participate in the Games, demonstrating the unity of the world as a big family. At one award ceremony, Chinese snowboarder Su Yiming and his idols, two Canadian athletes, hugged and congratulated each other sincerely. As soon as Chinese aerial skier Xu Mengtao won the gold medal of the freestyle skiing women’s aerials final, American Ashley Caldwell ran up to her and gave her a huge and warm hug, showcasing unity and friendship to the world. As António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations stressed, the world now needs a successful Winter Olympics to send a clear message to the world that people of any country, ethnicity and religion can rise above differences to achieve solidarity and cooperation.

I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Canadian athletes on their achievements of four gold and 26 medals in total in this winter Olympic Games. With amazing perseverance, Canadian snowboarder Max Parrot won a gold and a bronze medal, which I believe is an embodiment of the Olympic spirit.

The flame of the Winter Olympics was lit in Beijing, the world’s first dual-Olympic city. The Games have brought unity, peace, hope and light to the world, and instilled strong confidence and strength into a world beset by the epidemic. Today, faced with many challenges, we need to carry forward the Olympic spirit, discard political prejudice, and unite to create a better future for mankind!