The 2022 Olympic Winter Games have been marked with six consecutive years of progress since the IOC selected Beijing as the host city. Like the sleek new rail line that connects the capital city to the Olympic venues in the mountains, work on other projects and preparation for 2022 has followed the precision of a high speed rail timetable from start to finish.
“Everything is ready. “The preparations are excellent,” proclaims IOC President Thomas Bach just ahead of the one year to go mark.
Credit the experience of hosting the 2008 Summer Olympics with giving Beijing 2022 the knowledge to prepare for such an encore. But organizers and the IOC point to another helpful item: these Winter Games will be the first guided by the principles of Olympic Agenda 2020.
The 40-plus recommendations of Olympic Agenda are meant to make the Games a sustainable event from beginning to end. For Beijing 2022, Olympic Agenda 2020 has been a road map showing the way. It ensures milestones are reached on time and with minimal footprint, whether environmental or economic.
First proposed by Thomas Bach in 2013, Olympic Agenda 2020 is now being updated with the experiences of Beijing 2022.
The symbols of the Beijing 2022 Olympics were early signs of the coming Games. The logo is based on the Chinese character for winter was unveiled in 2017. The friendly mascots Bing Dwen Dwen and Shuey Rhon Rhon were introduced in 2019.
The dynamic pictograms for each sport on the Beijing program were the last icons of the Games to be revealed. The images were a New Year’s gift, unveiled on Jan. 1 of this year.
The most obvious symbols of the Games -- venues for the sports -- are mostly ready to go. Eleven legacy venues from the 2008 Olympics will be in use, along with two dramatic new venues.
The Ice Ribbon, built for speedskating, is the largest oval in Asia. The ice sheet is the largest in the world using carbon dioxide as an eco-friendly refrigerant. After next year’s Games it will remain as a National Skating Oval.
The big air track in the former industrial Shougang district soars to 60 meters at its peak; it is 360 meters long. The snowboard venue is certain to provoke awe whether in person or on a screen.
“Readiness” is also the word for the mountain venues north of Beijing. All are set to go for Olympic skiers next year. The new ski resorts built in the region are early signs of a legacy from the Winter Olympics. Already they are introducing millions of Chinese to winter sports ahead of the Games. For the second season high speed rail from Beijing is sending people to the slopes.
The last of the venues to be finished is the Olympic Village. June is the target. The complex with room for 2,300 is the latest addition to the Olympic Green that was created for the 2008 Olympics. After the Olympics, the apartments will become Beijing’s newest public housing, just as the nearby Olympic Village from 2008.
Tying all of these venues together for the Olympics will be an invisible web of 5G wireless service. Coupled with AI, the 5G network is supposed to deliver unprecedented navigation services to athletes, officials, media and fans.
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