In 2015, Beijing and Zhangjiakou jointly won the bid for 2022 Winter Olympic Games and Beijing therefore became the first city that will hold both the summer and winter Olympic Games.
As the biggest, most influential and comprehensive sports event in the world, the Olympic Games has great importance for development. The Olympic legacies have provided resources and momentum for the city’s development.
In order to continue the success after the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, we specifically established Beijing Olympic City Development Association (BODA) and a specific fund to develop of the city and our facilities.
Physical Games legacies
The broadcasting centre from the 2008 Olympic Games was converted into the China National Convention Centre after the Olympic Games, hosting more than 7,000 conferences including the Belt and Road Forum and the APEC summit. This conference centre is one of the Olympic Games legacies.
Other facilities like the Bird’s Nest and the Water Cube have become landmarks of Beijing; these places are also hosting other major events. Eight facilities in Beijing will serve as venues for the Winter Olympic Games.
The Beijing 2008 Olympic Games also brought forward the construction of our metro system. Carrying more than 10 million people every day, it is the city’s biggest transportation system. During the organising of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games we did a lot to control pollution and traffic; we have made this a long-term effort in Beijing.
We continue to work on the sustainability of our facilities. We plan to use 25 facilities [in Beijing, Yanqing and Zhangjiakou] for the Winter Olympic Games and are working with other organisations to comprehensively utilise these facilities, both for the Games and for future functions.
Our design and construction teams are all engaged in this process of making plans for legacy. For example, the Wukesong Arena can be transformed into the venue for ice hockey from basketball within six hours.
We will also promote the coordinated development of Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei area. The Winter Olympic Games in Beijing and Zhangjiakou will become very important drivers for economic development in the region. The coordinated development in this region will be closely related to the Olympic Games and they will be mutually beneficial. They will have better transportation and industries will also be boosted.
We will also work on environmental protection; public services will also be further enhanced and this will be a pilot project for the coordination of this region. More benefit to welfare will be brought to this region and its people.
The Olympic spirit
The Olympic Games influence people to participate in sports activities as part of the daily routine. In Beijing, people benefited greatly from the spirit of the Olympic Games. More than half of our citizens are frequent participants in sports activities. Our people are constantly improving their health.
We’ve also got the legacy of talent from the Olympic Games. Beijing 2008 cultivated a large number of high quality organisers of sporting events who have gone one to work on, for example, the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games; and in 2019 we are hosting the Military World Games and other major international events, all reflecting the talent.
More than half of our staff for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games will be from the 2008 summer Olympic Games organising committee.
We place great importance on legacy, making a very inclusive model for our organising work so that all people can engage in the Olympic Games and share its benefits.
We will also continue to work on education, volunteering and spreading the Olympic spirit, so that the general public will be more active and healthy in their lifestyle.
With the leadership of the Chinese government we want to conduct a wonderful and excellent winter Olympic games and fully implement green ideas and cost reduction.
We pay special attention to winter sports in China. In China, winter sports are mainly concentrated in the northern area. With the Beijing Winter Olympic Games, we hope to ignite the torch of winter sports in China and we try to engage more than 300 million people to participate in winter sports, at the same time trying to cultivate a high professional level and give us a good legacy of winter sports talent.
We will also endeavour to promote equipment manufacturing in winter sport and create great momentum in this global industry.
We will also work hard on the cultural legacy. The world will witness the Olympic Games, which will be held during China’s Spring Festival, a very important traditional festival in China. With this integration of Chinese culture and the Olympic Games, we can provide a unique cultural experience for Chinese and global audiences.
*This article, based on a presentation by Mr Zhang Jiandong at World Winter Sports Expo (WWSE) in Beijing in September 2017, first appeared in the Winter 2017 Issue of Host City magazine. Host City was the only foreign media reporting from WWSE