Bold and innovative plans for sustainability, legacy and promotion of the Olympic Truce concept are energetically under way during preparations for the Beijing 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
These three key issues are crucial, because the Games aspire to not only unite the planet through sport, but also to help save the planet through environmental and cultural initiatives.
From Beijing to Tianjin and the Hebei Province, the Olympics will bring new development to the region, a better life for the people and benefit future generations.
As president Xi Jinping said, the mission is “Deliver a fantastic, extraordinary and excellent Beijing 2022 Games, which are green, inclusive, open and clean (lean and efficient).”
Balance between Games preparation and respect for the natural environment continues to be a driving force as China prepares to host its first Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
Olympic Agenda and Sustainability = Priority #1
Sustainability has been of utmost importance since early in the bid and has been integrated into all aspects of the event. In fact, Beijing 2022 is actively implementing the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which was adopted in 2015.
Everything starts at “home”: the organizing committee headquarters is located in the renovated facilities of Shougang Park in the northwest of Beijing. The industrial site was once one of the largest iron and steel production facilities in
China. Several venues from the Beijing 2008 Summer Games are prime examples of recycling and repurposing. The iconic Water Cube and the Bird’s Nest Stadium are the most noteworthy.
These Games also follow the sustainability requirements of the Olympic Agenda 2020 – The New Norm.
The 109 events in seven sports will be spread over three competition zones: the Beijing Zone in and around the capital city, the Yanqing Zone in the Xiaohaituo Mountain area and the Zhangjiakou Zone in the Chongli District of Zhangjiakou City.
Positive environmental impact will be helped by prioritizing ecological conservation in venue construction and utilization. Meeting 2-star and 3-star standards of green buildings is also a key component.
Responding to climate change by delivering a low-carbon Games will be accomplished by using renewable energy and waste reduction.
2022 Games’ Benefits Felt Far and Wide
Just as the 2008 Summer Games remarkably accelerated the development of the capital, the 2022 Winter Games will provide new development for the region, including urban regeneration. An inter-city transport network composed of one high-speed railway and several trunk lines is another boon to the area. Improved public utilities, accessible facilities, industrial development and better services are also in the works.
The creation of the Beijing-Zhangjiakou sports, cultural and tourism belt is expected to help provide a better life for the people and spread Olympic spirit while advocating a healthy lifestyle.
Expectations are high, because even beyond the physical improvements these
Winter Games have a long list of lofty goals:
help alleviate local poverty
promote winter sports and Olympic education
build a team of volunteers
foster a good social atmosphere.
The Legacy Plan has four key messages: Inspire Young People with the Olympic Spirit, Encourage Millions to Embrace Winter Sports, Promote Social Progress Through the Winter Games and Create a Harmonious World with Better Mutual Understanding.
These are the first Games to develop a legacy plan, according to Olympic Agenda 2020 – The New Norm.
While building on the legacy from the 2008 Olympic Games, Beijing 2022 will showcase the image of China, in turn inspiring national pride.
Noting that the legacy of the Games is one of the “key measurements of their success,” Beijing 2022 will help grow winter sports in China and throughout Asia. It is also expected to foster the balanced development of winter and summer sports in the nation.
Some of these legacies are the result of changes initiated by Games preparation.
Others – such as a new airport in South Beijing and the high-speed railway – were simply accelerated when the city won the Olympics and Paralympics.
Once the flame has gone out on 2022, ambitious plans call for building still more new venues and hosting more events. But to go along with that, China plans to develop leisure and fitness industries around ice and snow sports. At least part of this growth will come from new sports clubs and school programs.
Organizers expect the 2022 Games to help drive awareness, respect and social inclusivity of people with disabilities. The concept of volunteerism is something else that is expected to grow – and to benefit the entire Olympic Movement.
By conforming to international practices and standards, Beijing 2022 hopes to be a global pioneer -- and a reference point for future Games.
Olympic Truce Still Relevant
Much more than a sporting event, the Olympic Games showcases sportsmanship, national spirit and internationalism. It also symbolizes world peace, friendship and unity – all elements of the Olympic spirit.
The Olympic Truce is based on a Greek tradition going back nearly 3,000 years that provided safety and a peaceful environment for athletes and spectators. In modern times, it has become an expression of humankind’s desire to build a world based on the rules of fair competition, peace, humanity and reconciliation. It is the final key issue of the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022.
The Olympic Truce is being integrated into Winter Games information campaigns, exhibitions and displays, as well as in mainstream media and new media.
This year, Beijing 2022 will build the Truce Mural and present the Olympic Truce resolution. The torch relay and the Opening and Closing Ceremonies will also be part of Olympic Truce activities. The hopes are these activities will raise awareness of the Olympic spirit.
“Let’s Enjoy Olympics Together”
The “Let’s Enjoy Olympics and Paralympics Together” initiative was jointly developed by Beijing 2022, the Ministry of Education, General Administration of Sport of China and State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television.
Beijing 2022 will co-host the China International Forum for Olympic Education with the Olympic Foundation for Culture and Heritage, International Olympic Academy and Samaranch Foundation.
Youth figures prominently into 2022 legacy plans.
Plans call for the building of 835 Olympic and Paralympic Education Demonstration Schools by 2022 and a whopping 5,000 “Schools with Winter Sport Programme” by 2025 （2063 by now）. Teenagers are expected to embrace the Olympic Truce through a Model Olympic Games; other events and programs range from “My Winter Olympic and Paralympic Dream” international camp to cultural and artistic activities. Other regions and nations can participate in Embrace the Future exchange programme (The One School One Country project) and, of course, winter sports.
* Chinese version of the Olympic Values Education Programme (OVEP) toolkit and I’m POSSIBLE toolkit were released in 2020. The OVEP was introduced to China for the first time. So far it has been translated in eight different languages, including Chinese.
* The number of registered reserve talents for winter events in Beijing has reached 7,565, an increase of nearly 100 times in four years.