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在线翻译:
szdaily -> Opinion -> 
Olympic Winter Games go beyond
    2017-10-16  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

Winton Dong

dht0620@126.com

JUST one week before the commencement of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, the 4th plenary session of the Leadership Committee of the 24th Olympic Winter Games was held in Beijing on Oct. 10, at which the Chinese Central Government vowed to host a green, upstanding and successful winter pageant.

As a famous Chinese saying goes, “Good things come in pairs.” By winning the bid for hosting the 2022 Olympic Winter Games, Beijing has become the first city in the world to host both the Summer and Winter Olympics.

Over the past decades, China has made substantial progress in various sports categories in the Summer Olympics. However, the country is still lagging behind in terms of winter sports. With the Winter Olympics as a springboard, the Central and local governments in China have rolled out a series of favorable policies aimed to popularize ice and snow sports in the country and encourage the growth of related industries. According to an infrastructure development plan published by the General Administration of Sport, there were about 200 ice rinks and some 500 ski resorts nationwide in 2015. The number of facilities for skating is expected to hit 650 and 800 for ski resorts by 2022, the year when China will host the Olympic Winter Games.

Besides encouraging a boom in mass sports, the 2022 Winter Games will focus on the concept of inclusiveness, prioritizing increased awareness of accessibility and encouraging people with disabilities to empower themselves and participate more in society. The Paralympics has become a premier international sports event promoting progress towards social inclusion for people with disabilities. Therefore hosting the Paralympics can be expected to have a positive effect on policymakers and public awareness, helping to create a friendly atmosphere that respects and protects the interest of those with disabilities.

Sustainability is also an important feature of the Beijing Winter Games in 2022. The Games will reuse much of the original infrastructure and venues for the 2008 Summer Games in the city, including the National Aquatic Center, also known as the Water Cube, and the National Stadium, dubbed the Bird’s Nest.

Construction of some new facilities, such as the National Speed Skating Oval and others, is also under way. Beijing has invited international biddings for construction of the oval. As the first public-private partnership project for the Games, the construction is expected to be finished in 2019. Private partners who win the bid will be responsible for building and operating the 12,000-seat venue for 30 years so as to make sure that private investment will get proper returns.

The reuse of some existing sporting facilities is only one aspect of sustainability efforts being made in preparation for the Winter Games. By transforming old steel mills into training centers for the Games, Beijing is demonstrating another resourceful approach to hosting the event. With its abandoned furnaces and smokestacks, the former production site of steelmaker Shougang Group in Beijing evoked memories of the capital’s industrial past. But as part of measures to curb air pollution in Beijing, the entire operations of Shougang were moved to Caofeidian in nearby Hebei Province in 2010. To make use of these vacated facilities, the company and the General Administration of Sport signed a deal this year to jointly turn the original industrial complex into sports-themed training centers for the 2022 Winter Games after extensive renovations.

An international sporting event is also a good opportunity for Beijing to upgrade its overall infrastructure. Parts of the Games will be held in Yanqing County, a northwestern and relatively poor suburban area of the capital. To facilitate transportation there, Beijing is now building an expressway that connects downtown Beijing with its outskirt county Yanqing, where alpine skiing competitions will be held.

Zhangjiakou in neighboring Hebei Province will co-host the 2022 Winter Olympics. To facilitate this, a high-speed railway line to link Zhangjiakou with Beijing will be built. These and similar efforts make it obvious that China is taking advantage of the Games to help integrate the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Region (one of the three most important engines of the Chinese economy together with the Yangtze River Delta Region and the Pearl River Delta Region) into a world-class metropolitan area.

(The author is the editor-in-chief of the Shenzhen Daily with a Ph.D. from the Journalism and Communication School of Wuhan University.)

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