Beijing in race for Winter Olympics, with all-star delegation

Beijing in race for Winter Olympics, with all-star delegation
A group of volunteers walk through the square at the Bird's Nest, the landmark stadium for the 2008 Olympic Games, on Thursday, to show their support for China's bid to be the host of the 2022 Winter Olympics.
PHOTO: China Daily/ANN

An all-star team of presenters has been assembled to help Beijing make a final demonstration of its readiness to host the 2022 Winter Olympic Games and show the world its capacity to stage the winter sports gala.

The host city of the 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympic Games will be selected between Beijing and Almaty, Kazakhstan. The Beijing 2022 bid committee has a 12-member team, led by Vice-Premier Liu Yandong.

The presenters also include Beijing Mayor Wang Anshun, former NBA star Yao Ming and IOC member Yang Yang. They will make their separate cases for Beijing's selection during a 65-minute session that was to start at noon Beijing time.

"We believe Beijing 2022 is the right partner for the IOC at this crucial time of transformation, and we are playing our part to support the Olympic Agenda 2020 principles that are setting the foundation for the Olympic Movement to continue to grow sustainably to 2022 and beyond," Wang said.

The eventual host city will be announced just before 6 pm on Friday after a closed-door vote of IOC members.

Beijing's joint bid with co-host Zhangjiakou in Hebei province will significantly contribute to the Olympic Movement if successful, said Wang, head of the bid committee.

Thanks to the promotion of China's national image as a world power during the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Beijing's attempt to become the first city to host both the summer and winter Games received strong governmental backing.

During a meeting with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday, Liu voiced strong government support for Beijing's bid.

Bidding for the Winter Olympics will stimulate the grassroots participation in winter sports in China while helping achieve the goal of mass fitness and health, Liu said.

"We will deliver 100 per cent of what we promised," said Wang Hui, spokeswoman of the Beijing 2022 bid committee.

Beijing's desire to deliver a successful 2022 Games was also reflected by its determination to tackle air pollution.

The Beijing environment authority has been taking a series of tough anti-pollution measures, including shuttering polluting factories and replacing coal consumption with clean energy.

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