BEIJING, July 18 (Xinhua) -- International Olympic Committee (IOC) Coordination Commission Chair Juan Antonio Samaranch praised the organizers of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games at the organizers' Shougang headquarters on Thursday.
"You [Beijing 2022] promised a number of things and you are delivering certainly on time and certainly in style," Samaranch said in his opening remarks at the meeting. "We have had since the last Coordination Commission a very extraordinary year for Beijing 2022. There have been more than 60 technical reviews, more than 20 workshops, countless meetings, project reviews and all sorts of ceremonies."
"This is not just a protocol, a meeting. We are in the same boat working together. So we are ready to put all that we can from our side to collaborate with you in going forward with this extraordinary project," Samaranch added.
The two-day meeting was to discuss progress made so far and the work that lies ahead, with Beijing 2022 presenting updates on the progress made in Games organization, venue and infrastructure construction, test event preparations and public promotion and participation.
Beijing 2022 President Cai Qi attended the meeting, saying that the Chinese government attaches great importance to the preparations.
"Beijing 2022 is speeding up construction of all venues and related infrastructure. The National Speed Skating Oval is progessing as scheduled. The Xinglongkou to Yanqing section of the Beijing to Chongli Expressway is completed and open to traffic. Preparations for the first test events have started. The Legacy Strategy Plan and Low Carbon Management Plan have been revealed. A global call for design proposals for Games mascots has been completed. Beijing 2022 marked '1,000 Days to Go' with a celebration at Beijing Olympic Park and the Games are generating wide public interest," Cai said.
"In compliance with Olympic Agenda 2020, Beijing 2022 hopes to deepen its cooperation with the IOC and winter sports experts. I hope the Coordination Commission can provide suggestions to help us broaden the way of thinking, make measures perfect and solve tough problems," Cai added.
Ahead of the meeting, the Coordination Commission travelled to Zhangjiakou and Yanqing, two of three competition zones for Beijing 2022 on Wednesday.
"The visit of the coordination commission started yesterday with a no less than extraordinary visit to the mountain venues. We saw that progress really firsthand," Samaranch said.
Samaranch added that the IOC is also impressed with Beijing 2022's legacy plans. The Shougang Industrial Park, previously an old steel factory, is now being transformed into office space for the headquarters of Beijing Organizing Committee. "Your headquarters is living proof of the legacy even before the Games."
"We have to praise you for your decisions on the ice venue cooling system with natural CO2 refrigeration to reduce the carbon footprint, and that will set a landmark example for any future organizer of ice events. Tourism based on sports and winter sports has already grown into an industry that is rapidly developing in the country. Your top athletes in winter sports are also making landmark progress around the world."