Fulfill the Dream of Olympics in Beijing in 2022
By Ambassador Chen Xiaodong, Chinese Ambassador to South Africa
26 August 2021
At the just-concluded Tokyo Summer Olympic Games, Chinese athletes fully demonstrated the hard work, confidence and openness of the Chinese people. South African athletes also performed extraordinarily. Their attitude of rising to challenges and winning glory for the country is highly commendable, whether it is the gold medal-winning swimmer Schoenmaker or the skateboarder Oberholzer who regards skateboarding “as his life”.
Following Tokyo, the world will have another Olympic feast in February next year – Beijing Winter Olympics. Having hosted the Summer Olympics in 2008, Beijing will again attract the attention of the world.
Juan Antonio Samaranch, the Honorary Lifetime Chairman of the International Olympic Committee, praised the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing as a splendid Olympics presented by the Chinese people for the world. The world was impressed by modern stadiums, efficient traffic systems, rigorous organization and coordination, dedicated volunteers, as well as the profound Chinese culture and a thriving Chinese economy.
Beijing will host a “simple, safe, and splendid” Winter Olympics in February 2022 on the basis of a full COVID-19 response. This is a solemn commitment made by the Chinese government and people for the international Olympic family. The Beijing Winter Olympics and Paralympics, which combines the Olympic spirit with innovations in low-carbon operation and environmental protection, will be the first major event in the history of the Olympics to use green and clean electricity alone. Millimeter-wave 5G will be used for live broadcast of the events, making it the first Winter Olympics with a large-scale smart 5G technology application. We will get to see an extraordinary green and high-tech Winter Olympics in Beijing.
The Olympic flag fluttering in Beijing again will bring hope to people ravaged by the pandemic worldwide. The values of peace, friendship, and unity are rooted in the spirit of mankind through the Olympics. “Faster, Higher, Stronger, Together” will be its eternal theme.
The spirit of solidarity advocated by the Olympics dovetails with the concept of building a community with a shared future for mankind advocated by President Xi Jinping. In the context of the on-going pandemic, extreme weather, food crises, geopolitical crisis, and a slowdown in economic growth, the world needs to unite as a community with a shared future, build confidence and work hard to address unprecedented challenges.
The Olympics offers a way for the people worldwide to fulfill their beautiful ideals and express the love for peace. It is a fair stage for all to strive for national pride. As an interpretation of the modern Olympic spirit goes: “Every individual must have the possibility of practising sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play.”
Each Olympics will eventually pass, but the spirit moves on forever. I still remember that a South African athlete left a deep impression on the world at the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics, swimmer Natalie du Toit. Having won five gold medals at the Athens Paralympic Games, she was the only athlete to participate in both the Beijing Summer Olympics and the Beijing Paralympics. She won 16th place in the women’s 10 km marathon swimming at the Beijing Olympics and became a hero of victory for all of us. That is the charm of the Olympics, and the value of the Olympic spirit.
From Tokyo to Beijing, from Summer Olympics to Winter Olympics, let us look forward to pursuing our dream at the Winter Olympics in Beijing. I wish the athletes of our two countries achieve excellent results!
See you again in Beijing in 2022!