by Xinhua writers Zhu Dongyang, Gao Peng
LAUSANNE, Jan. 19 (Xinhua) -- Hours after Chinese President Xi Jinping finished his Wednesday visit to the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Thomas Bach, the sporting organization's leader, was still greatly excited.
In his meeting with Bach, Xi pledged to make Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games a "remarkable, extraordinary and excellent event." Beijing's holding of the 2022 Olympics made it the world's first host city of both a Summer Games and a Winter Games.
Bach recalled that in his conversation with Xi, the Chinese president explained that in China, many parents, teachers and scholars think sport is a distraction from education.
"He said as president, he has to make it clear to people how sport is not a distraction from education, how it can make education better, how it can promote the well-being of the health of the people, how it can increase life expectancy," said Bach.
"President Xi is a true champion and I want to give him a set of medals because he has a clear vision about the important role of sports in society, and the importance of sports for education for the young people. So in this respect, he is the true Olympic champion for the youth," said Bach.
Hosting the 2022 Winter Olympics will also boost the economic growth of China and other countries sitting along the Belt and Road routes, and enhance regional peace and stability, Xi said during the visit.
Hailing Xi as "a man who has great leadership skills," Bach said the Chinese president "is implementing issues with measures so that as many as possible Chinese can benefit from sports."
Xi knows very well the contribution of the 2022 Olympics to the economic and social development in China's northern Hebei Province as well as its infrastructure, said Bach.
"Overall, I was very impressed to see President Xi has a vision and strategy to make his vision a reality. And his vision is not limited to sports, but concerning the economy, the culture and other areas of life. You can get a clear picture on how he sees the future of China and the Chinese people," he said.
Asked which part of Xi's remarks during the IOC visit impressed him most, Bach said: "It is the clear commitment of President Xi to organize not only a brilliant 2022 Winter Olympic Games but also sustainable, green and clean games."
During the visit, Xi pledged to host the 2022 Games in a green, sharing, open and clean-fingered manner.
"President Xi was very clear that this is reflecting our Olympic Agenda 2020. This is why we are working closely with regard to, for instance, anti-corruption and his clean government policy. This is why we are working together to use this Olympics as a catalyst for the long-term development of the Olympics in northern China," said the IOC chief.
The international sporting organization "applauds the Chinese and President Xi's personal project to attract millions of the Chinese into winter sports through this Winter Olympics," Bach added, noting "it was very impressive to hear how he sees this winter games as part of his Chinese dream."
"He personally is very committed to the success of the 2022 Games. Therefore he is pushing very hard from his side. After this visit I am sure of its success," the IOC president said.
Bach also said that China can and will win many medals in the 2022 Olympics.
"We can already see now many improvements in many sports.I am confident the home team in China will be very strong not only in ice sports but also in snow sports. You can already see Chinese athletes coming up. The Chinese Olympic Committee has invited many highly qualified foreign coaches. We know the determination of the Chinese people and the government," he said.
When asked about his expectations for Xi and China to further promote Olympics in China, Bach said: "For the Olympic Movement in China, this is a golden opportunity to have President Xi being so committed to sports overall, having sports as a part of the national development plan and the Chinese dream."
"I am sure the Chinese people, and the sports movement in China will use this golden opportunity and we will see an increase in sports participation, and also a great improvement in quality of life through sports," he said.
The former fencing medal winner said if he would "play a game with Xi, it would be fencing."
"Maybe there I have the best chance," he giggled.
"And most important of all, he is a great fan of sports, this of course for us, the IOC, is most important. For me, it is a surprise of his detailed knowledge about sports and the philosophy of sports. He really loves sports. This of course, for a sports leader, is great to see," Bach said.