Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli attends and addresses the third session of the leading group preparing for the 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games in Beijing, March 1, 2017. [Photo/Xinhua]
BEIJING — Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli on March 1 called for coherent efforts to ensure the preparatory work for the 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games are green, inclusive, open and clean.
Zhang made the remarks at a high-level meeting which was attended by officials from relevant government departments, along with the heads of co-hosts Beijing and neighboring Hebei province.
Zhang noted that the 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games is a historic event that will help boost China’s development and showcase the country’s image.
“The principles of being green, inclusive, open and clean must be implemented in all areas of Games preparations, throughout the lead-up to the 2022 Winter Games,” he said.
Competition venues are split into three clusters for the 2022 Games, with curling, ice hockey and skating events due to be held in Beijing. The Yanqing venue cluster, which lies between Beijing and the city of Zhangjiakou, is set to stage Alpine skiing, bobsled, luge and skeleton, while Chongli resort is the planned site for freestyle skiing, snowboarding, cross-country, Nordic combined, ski jumping and biathlon events. Construction work is scheduled to be completed by 2019 so that all the venues are ready for test events in 2020.
Zhang stressed that plans for the three venue clusters should be integrated into the long-term development goals for Beijing and Hebei, saying the venues and other facilities should not only satisfy the needs of the Olympics and Paralympics, but also avoid becoming so-called “white elephants” after the 2022 Games.
He also stressed that the construction work should neither cause harmful ecological effects nor imperil local cultural heritage.
As highlighted in Beijing’s bid plans, China pledges to encourage 300 million people to participate in winter sports ahead of the 2022 Games. Zhang called for more efforts to expand participation in winter sports in Northern China.
Beijing was awarded the 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games at the IOC session on July 31, 2015.