I am very excited to be invited to participate in Host City Asia and have the opportunity to share the development of sports in China and Asia with fellow experts and industry peers.
I believe that everyone is very interested in the preparations for the Beijing Olympic Winter Games in 2022. Today, I address the theme of "Past, Present, and Future" to share the preparations for the Beijing Winter Olympics.
Chinese President Xi Jinping attached great importance to the preparatory work for the Beijing Olympic Winter Games and pointed out that it is necessary to adhere to the concept of green Olympics, shared Olympic Games, open Olympics, with honesty, and to strive to hold an exciting, extraordinary, and outstanding Olympic Games.
In 2008, Beijing hosted an unparalleled Olympic Games. In 2022, Beijing will become the first city in the world to host both the Summer Olympics and Winter Olympic Games.
China has had an enduring bond with the ice and snow sports since ancient times. Firstly, I would like to take everyone back to the past and review one of the origins of the earliest ice and snow movements. Let’s look at two ancient paintings. The first one is “Altaian Rock Paintings”. The Altai region is located in the northern part of Xinjiang and is one of the earliest regions where ice and snow come each year. As early as 10,000 years ago, the ancient Altaians recorded their skis on rock. This is the earliest known ski. After research, the history of this rock painting has been dated to 10,000 to 30,000 years ago. It can be regarded as the most direct evidence of the origin of human skiing history.
In addition, the Palace Museum's "Ice Play" is a court painting that represents the history of ice sports in China, from the Qing Dynasty of China more than 300 years ago. From "Ice Play", we can see that each person performs various difficult moves like figure skating. From "Altay Rock Paintings" to "Ice Play", we can see that China had its own ice and snow movements long ago. We have a close relationship with ice and snow sports.
Now Beijing, as the host city for the 2022 Winter Olympics, is making every effort to promote various preparatory work and is striving to organise and host the Beijing Olympic Winter Games. It will showcase the historical and cultural charm of China, the achievements of contemporary construction and development, and show the world an open and confident country image.
Venues and infrastructure construction
In terms of venues and infrastructure construction, the Beijing Winter Olympics upholds the concept of sustainable development and maximises the use of existing venues for the 2008 Olympic Games. The Beijing Winter Olympic Games includes the three competition areas of Beijing, Yanqing and Zhangjiakou.
The Beijing competition area holds all ice events. Except for the construction of a new national speed skating hall, all other projects use existing and transformed venues.
Yanqing Alpine skiing and snowmobile sledding projects have started construction.
The masterplan for the core area of the Zhangjiakou District has been determined. The national winter biathlon circuit and shooting range has started construction. The design for the deepening of the platform for the national ski jump centre has taken shape and the earthwork has been completed. The basic construction of the cross-country ski track has been completed.
The three divisions are being connected by the Beijing-Zhangjiakou high-speed rail with an average speed of 350 km/h, taking only 20 minutes from Beijing to Yanqing and only 30 minutes from Yanqing to Zhangjiakou.
The Beijing Olympic Winter Games Organising Committee is now located in an industrial site in the west of Beijing and has become a successful case of the Olympics promoting sustainable urban development. It has won high praise from the international community.
Promotion and cultural activities
In terms of publicity and promotion and cultural activities, on December 15 last year, the “Winter Dream” logo of the Olympic Winter Games and the Winter Olympics Paralympic Games logo “The Leap” were formally released. It is widely believed at home and abroad that the ideas are novel, rich in meaning and strong in communicating China's style and cultural charm. More than 100 media at home and abroad participated in the launch ceremony and more than 1,500 articles were published around the logos. The Beijing Olympics Organising Committee's logo microblog readership exceeded 8.48 million, and the Weibo topic readership exceeded 330 million.
At the closing ceremony of the PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games on February 25 this year, Beijing took over the Olympic Flag as a host city and presented the world with a wonderful and captivating cultural performance. President Xi Jinping and hundreds of millions of people shared the video with the world. Issued as a sincere invitation to Beijing in 2022, this video was actively watched and discussed by Internet users at home and abroad. Within 24 hours, 720 million views were broadcast on the WeChat social network.
This event also became the most attended performance in the Olympic history. A total of 130 million Internet users sent invitations to the world via the "Winter Olympics, Me and Stars” voice interaction app and the "Winter Olympics Send Invitation" WeChat H5 page to reach the closing ceremony of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics through the Internet.
We are also actively using new media to explore the Winter Olympics network promotion.
A series of micro-videos created by the Beijing Olympic Winter Games Organising Committee has been formally launched under the brand “Winter Premiere”. 11 micro-videos have been released on the official website, microblog platform and related video websites related to the development of the competition area, sports work, market development and cultural events, with cumulative plays of nearly 10 million.
Public participation and Olympic education
While promoting the Beijing Olympic Winter Games with international events and major events, the Beijing Olympic Winter Games Organising Committee also actively works on the goal of “300 million people participating in the ice and snow sports” proposed by General Secretary Xi Jinping.
To promote ice and snow sports in the country and popularise the knowledge of ice and snow sports, we launched the "Share Winter Olympics" action plan jointly with central ministries and commissions such as the Ministry of Education, the State General Administration of Sport, and the Central Committee of the Communist Youth League. The national guidance documents such as educational plans, social civilisation plans, youth plans and image publishing plans have been released to the public one after another. We have vigorously promoted "ice and snow in the campus." As of now, Beijing and Zhangjiakou have named the first batch of 84 primary and secondary snow and ice sports schools, and have held training classes for primary and secondary school ski instructors. Beijing has held two consecutive sessions of middle school students in winter.
The Games held a series of ice and snow popularisation and promotion activities such as the “My Winter Olympic Dream” National English Junior Reporter Competition, which attracted the attention of young people from both places. We also organised a Beijing Winter Olympics delegation composed of Olympic champions, volunteers, small athletes, community sports enthusiasts and other representatives. We have organised Winter Olympics lectures in institutions, enterprises, communities and schools in Beijing, Zhangjiakou, Heilongjiang and other places. In 2017, the number of direct participation of the Youth Exchange Fun Olympics Experience Camp was 16,000.
Two snow and ice photo solicitations for professional photographers attracted nearly a thousand professional photographers to participate, recruiting 11,000 high quality images of ice and snow. In addition, in Beijing last year, 40 city-level ice and snow events were created, and 13 districts have created ice and snow activities with special characteristics. In 2017, 500 million people participated in these ice and snow activities.
In terms of market development work, five companies including Bank of China, Air China, Yili, Anta, and China Unicom have now been identified as official partners, and a trial program for licensed products has been launched. Commemorative stamps have been officially issued, and licensed merchandise sales have enjoyed a good momentum.
The Winter Olympics Beijing Cycle
After the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics concluded perfectly, we officially entered the Winter Olympics “Beijing Cycle”. In the future, the Beijing Olympic Winter Games Organising Committee will strengthen cooperation with all sectors of the society and go all out to do a good job of various tasks.
The first is to systematically plan the construction and operational management of venues, to learn from the relevant experiences of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics and Tokyo Olympic Games, to adjust and optimise in time, to study the use of venues ahead of schedule and to promote sustainable development.
The second is to do a good job of organising the competition, to listen earnestly to the opinions of the International Olympic Committee, the International Paralympic Committee, and the individual sports federations, and learn from the experience of running the host city.
Third, it is necessary to detail the guaranteed service tasks during the competition and carefully prepare and coordinate efforts in areas such as transportation, medical care, accommodation, catering, and security to ensure that the standards of the three competition areas are consistent and linked.
The fourth is to promote foreign exchange and cooperation in an all-round manner, strengthen ties and cooperation with international organisations, snow and ice-sports powerhouses, and the host city of the previous Olympic Winter Games to promote exchanges in humanities, economics and non-governmental sports organisations. Soon, we will create the Beijing Winter Olympics and Winter Paralympic Games mascots and welcome everyone around the world to participate in the design exchange activities.
Fifth, we must plan the sustainable development of the Winter Olympic Games and integrate the concept of sustainable development into all aspects of preparatory work.
There are less than four years to 2022 and I hope that people from all walks of life will care for and support the preparations for the Beijing Olympic Winter Games. The Beijing Olympics Organising Committee looks forward to working together with everyone to create a wonderful and extraordinary event for the world in 2022. Finally, I wish Host City Asia a complete success.
This transcript of Chang Yu’s keynote address at Host City Asia also appears in the Summer issue of Host City magazine