PYEONGCHANG, Feb. 15 (Xinhua) -- International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach on Thursday visited the China House in PyeongChang to celebrate the Chinese New Year with the country's Olympians participating in the 2018 Winter Games.
Former speed skating Olympic champion Zhang Hong and veteran figure skater Zhang Hao led a group of Chinese athletes to take the stage and sing "Happy New Year" during the new year celebration of the Chinese delegation, which also consisted of a series of Chinese traditional cultural performances including calligraphy show.
Bach expressed his holiday greetings in Chinese and called the year of 2018 "a very important year for Chinese sports" with the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games in sight.
"In 10 days we will hand over the Olympic flag to China. It will be handing over the responsibility to organize the Olympic Winter Games. It is like handing over our only child to somebody to take care of," Bach said. "We want to hand it over to China in a very healthy and successful state. And we hope China can make it even stronger, even bigger and even more universal."
"This year of 2018 will lay the first stone for a great success of the Olympic Winter Games 2022 in Beijing. And for this I wish you all a very happy new year," Bach added.