BEIJING, Aug. 26 (Xinhua) -- IOC president Thomas Bach spoke highly of Beijing's preparation for the Olympic Winter Games 2022, while also praising the innovative concept of allowing all people to participate in sports adapted by the 13th Chinese National Games during his visit in Beijing on Saturday.
In the afternoon, Bach visited the Wukesong Sports center, the chosen location of the Big Air and the headquarters for the Beijing 2022 Organizing Committee.
"This visit here has two purposes. First of all, to visit BOCOG and to see the great progress being made with regard to the preparations for the Olympic Winter Games 2022. The other reason is the visit to Hangzhou, to the headquarters of Alibaba, the strategic worldwide partner of the IOC, to bring the Olympic Games into the digital age," said Bach.
Bach described the preparations for the Olympic Winter Games as "really excellent." He pointed out that the progress is steady and the cooperation with the IOC is seamless. "And you can see the great projects with regard to the development of winter sports in China, attracting hopefully at the end 300 millions Chinese to winter sports."
The BOCOG headquarters he visited is a regeneration based on an old steel factory of Beijing. Bach was impressed by the sustainable development of having the urban rejuvenation in the industrial region.
Before the end of the visit, Bach mentioned the 13th National Games soon to kick off in Tianjin, which allows both athletes and amateurs to participate. He will also be at the opening ceremony on Sunday night.
"They are coming up, the first time, with a very innovative concept, a very inclusive concept. They are allowing all the people to participate in these games. I think this is really an excellent idea," commented Bach, "This is great progress because in our times sport cannot wait anymore, that people are coming to sport. Sport has to go to the people, has to be inclusive. Therefore I think we will see a great event, and I wish the organizers good luck and great success for the National Games of China," Bach concluded.