Members of the Beijing 2022 organizing committee (BOCOG) during the fifth online meeting of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Coordination Commission on June 9, 2020. (Xinhua/Zhang Chenlin)
Beijing vice mayor Zhang Jiandong says Beijing 2022 has kept up preparation efforts without lowering standards despite global pandemic.
BEIJING, June 9 (Xinhua) -- Beijing 2022 has maintained a high standard of preparation efforts despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Zhang Jiandong, Beijing vice mayor and executive vice president of the Beijing 2022 organizing committee (BOCOG), said on Tuesday.
Zhang made the remarks at the fifth meeting of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Coordination Commission held online to discuss updates on the preparations for the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games, especially given the impact of the pandemic.
Zhang briefed the plenary meeting on Tuesday about the progress made since the last meeting in July 2019, with a focus on the impact of the coronavirus outbreak, sustainability, the legacy of the Games, and its global publicity campaign.
"Despite the COVID-19 outbreak, we have been delivering a continuous effort without lowering standards," Zhang said.
A photo taken on March 14, 2020 shows that construction of the Beijing 2022 Nodic Center has gotten back underway amid the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. (Xinhua/Wu Diansen)
Zhang noted that venue construction projects were among the first to resume after the pandemic was brought under control in China. An IOC Broadcasters Meeting, a Partnership Workshop and other important meetings have been held. Last month, Beijing 2022 marked several milestones, launching a global appeal for medal, torch and apparel designs and a Sustainability Plan for the Games.
Since the global recruitment of volunteers began on December 5, 2019, the organizers have received more than 810,000 applications. The Games has already teamed up with 26 enterprises who have become partners or sponsors of the Games.
The BOCOG vice president also admitted that there are still challenges ahead with the coronavirus spreading across the globe.
"For example, the manufacturers of the equipment we bought for venue construction are mainly in hard-hit countries and regions, so the manufacture, transportation and import of them were all affected. Some foreign experts and technical personnel for the installation and commissioning of the facilities and venue homologation face difficulties coming to the site at the moment," he said.
Staff work on a track at the National Sliding Center in Beijing on March 4, 2020. (Xinhua)
"We will try to figure these out on a case-by-case basis and ensure all venue construction projects will be finished by the end of this year and geared up for test events," he vowed.
"We will further consolidate our cooperation with the IOC, the International Paralympics Committee (IPC) and the International Federations (IFs) to identify and tackle potential risks and challenges," he added.
IOC Coordination Commission Chair Juan Antonio Samaranch gave high praise for the progress Beijing 2022 has made in preparation.
"China has faced an incredibly difficult period over the past few months - our thoughts are with all those impacted," he said.
"Despite these unique circumstances, Beijing 2022 has continued to meet key milestones, a true testament to their determination to provide the perfect stage for the world's top winter athletes in just under two years' time.
"Not only have we seen important progress with their venues, their efforts to engage millions of people in winter sports is heartening. This aligns very much with the spirit of Olympism and the thoughts of IOC President Thomas Bach in relation to 'sport and physical activity make a great contribution to health' in society," Samaranch said. ■