Beijing gets ready for crucial IOC inspection

Beijing gets ready for crucial IOC inspection
A 18,000 sq m skating rink in the Iceworld Sports Land besides the MasterCard Center in Beijing.

The Beijing municipal government is urging everyone involved in the 2022 Winter Olympics bid to make an all-out effort to be prepared for the final inspection by the International Olympic Committee in a month.

Beijing's joint bid with Zhangjiakou, Hebei province, will enter its decisive phase in March with the visit of representatives of the IOC Evaluation Commission. The IOC will vote for the eventual host between Beijing and its only rival, Almaty in Kazakhstan, in July.

The Standing Committee of Beijing Municipal People's Congress passed a resolution on Friday calling for all resources to be mobilized to prepare for the visit.

"Under the guidance of State authorities, the municipal government should work closely with Hebei province to be fully prepared in all possible areas that the IOC will evaluate and to optimize final preparations for the bid based on IOC rules," said a statement released by the committee on Friday.

Wang Anshun, Beijing's mayor and the bid committee chairman, emphasised that details will play a significant role in the evaluation.

"We should meet every part of the IOC's host city standards to ease any potential concerns," Wang said during an earlier briefing on the evaluation visit.

Beijing submitted its official candidature file in January, responding to more than 200 questions and requirements raised by the committee. The file set out details of the bid objectives, venue plans, transport arrangements and security measures.

To address air pollution, another issue that may concern the IOC, Beijing has adopted legally binding regulations to considerably reduce the concentration of PM2.5-particulate matter with a diameter of 2.5 microns or smaller that can penetrate the lungs and harm health-by 2017, according to the municipal environmental protection bureau.

Wang Hui, head of the Beijing bid committee's publicity department, said, "Bidding for and hosting the Winter Olympics require clean air and a good environment, so this can motivate us (the governments) to take tougher measures to upgrade our economic structures, thus cutting the emission of air pollutants."

Beijing's bid recently received high-profile support from six renowned sports figures, including basketball icon Yao Ming and Olympic champion speed skater Zhang Hong.

Yao said, "Beijing has a rich Olympic heritage after 2008, and the 2022 bid would bring it all to a new level and make more people understand sport and be involved."

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