Capital's delegation arrives in Kuala Lumpur ahead of final presentation, Friday's IOC vote
With only four days before the 2022 Winter Olympics host city is chosen, the Beijing bid committee has reiterated that the Chinese capital would be an ideal host for the winter sports gala based on its advantages in facilities and experience.
The host of the 2008 Summer Olympics, Beijing has the key elements in place to stage highly successful Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2022, with abundant existing facilities and expertise it gained from hosting international events, bid committee officials said.
"With less than a week before the election, we continue our hard work to demonstrate to the Olympic family the strengths of our bid, which boasts guaranteed delivery and tremendous potential for winter sports," said Wang Anshun, Beijing mayor and the president of the Beijing 2022 bid committee, after the Beijing delegation's arrival in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday.
Beijing is competing against Almaty, Kazakhstan, for the 2022 Winter Olympics. The winner will be chosen at the 128th International Olympic Committee session in Kuala Lumpur on Friday.
The delegation, which includes senior bid committee officials and former-athlete ambassadors, arrived in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday to prepare for the final presentation to IOC members and the subsequent vote.
Wang, whose team includes former basketball star Yao Ming and retired freestyle skiing world champion Li Nina, said Beijing's assured delivery of the Olympic Games and its huge winter sports potential make the Chinese capital an appealing candidate to the world.
"We are convinced that there are multiple reasons why Beijing would be the ideal, athlete-centered, sustainable and economical choice for the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. We have put together a strong team to present this message once again in the finish line," he said.
As the IOC calls for more sustainability in future Olympics, Beijing's bid plan to host the 2022 Games in three centers-downtown Beijing, northwest Beijing's Yanqing county, and co-host Zhangjiakou in neighboring Hebei province-complies with the Olympic 2020 Agenda, a plan for the future of the Games, by distributing winter sports facilities to three markets while sharing their economic costs.
Wang Hui, deputy secretary-general and spokeswoman for the Beijing bid committee, said: "The three-zone arrangement will make our venues and facilities more accessible to larger groups of consumers while accelerating winter sports related industries after the Games."
Under Beijing's bid plan, all the ice events would take place at five venues, including four existing ones from the 2008 Olympics in downtown Beijing. The only new facility would be the National Speed Skating Oval, as an additional permanent venue for speedskating competitions.
Snow sports would take place at the proposed National Alpine Ski Center and National Sliding Center, which would be developed into high-level training bases and public skiing and tourism centers in the mountainous regions of Yanqing.
The rest of the skiing events would be held at the new Nordic and Biathlon Center as well as the refurnished Genting Snow Park in Zhangjiakou, which plans to build on the 2022 legacy and further develop after the Games.