(ATR) A Covid-19 countermeasures working group for Beijing 2022 will be formed, building on the expertise gained from Tokyo 2020.
The announcement on Friday followed a two-day joint virtual project review with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and Beijing 2022 Organizing Committee.
All Games delivery partners agreed to the creation of the working group, with the IOC and IPC taking the opportunity to share the extensive work currently being done in this area for the Tokyo Games.
IOC Coordination Commission Chair Juan Antonio Samaranch, in a statement after the meetings, admitted "there will be challenges ahead… which is why – through, for example, the COVID-19 countermeasure working group – we are fully preparing for all eventualities.
"To achieve this, the experience and expertise within the Local Organizing Committee, the support from the Chinese and Beijing governments and the close collaboration between all Olympic and Paralympic Movement stakeholders will ensure we are stronger together. This will be vital to delivering outstanding Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Beijing in 2022."
Despite the ongoing pandemic, Beijing 2022 reported that all the competition venues remain on track to be completed by the end of this year. This follows several visits by International Federations in recent weeks, including the pre-homologation of the sliding centre conducted by the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (IBSF) and International Luge Federation (FIL). The International Biathlon Union (IBU), World Curling Federation (WCF), International Skating Union (ISU) and International Ski Federation (FIS) also visited venues in Beijing last week.
"Acknowledging the difficulties experienced this year, the progress being made by Beijing 2022 has been remarkable. This has been reflected through positive feedback from several International Federations that have visited Beijing in recent weeks," Samaranch said.
Efforts at communication were also applauded. The recent World Press Briefing, held online for the first time, welcomed more than 400 media representatives, a record for an Olympic Winter Games edition. Earlier this week, a National Olympic Committee Open Day was conducted online for the first time. Other remote activities included venue technical reviews and Games services reviews.
"We strive to overcome various difficulties and have made solid progress," Beijing 2022 Executive Vice-President Zhang Jiandong said.
"In the coming days, facing the new situation and challenges, cooperation among all parties will be even further strengthened, thus laying a solid foundation for successful Beijing 2022 Games."
Written by Gerard Farek
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