Beijing Winter Olympics: Together for a shared future
Ambassador in Gambia Ma Jianchun
25 February 2022
The Beijing Winter Olympics came to an end on February 20. As the first ever Dual Olympic City in the world, Beijing has fulfilled the promise to the world and delivered a “simple, safe and splendid” Winter Olympics. This is not only a victory for China but also a booster for world peace and development.
Rediscovering China in Dual Olympic City
In the summer of 2008, China proved that the most populous country in the world could successfully host the Olympic Games. In the winter of 2022, China showed that a confident and determined country could reunite the world together for a shared future.
The Beijing Winter Olympics is the first global comprehensive sports event that has been successfully held as scheduled since the outbreak of the pandemic. During the Games, the daily number of newly diagnosed COVID-19 cases in the world was shocking. It was not easy to ensure that athletes from all over the world continue to fully enjoy the competition. Under such circumstances, Beijing had achieved “zero growth” of positive cases during the Games. This is the result of the implementation of various pandemic-prevention measures and the contribution of Chinese pandemic-prevention staff.
Through Beijing Winter Olympics, the world could see further evidence of a more eco-friendly Beijing and China. Many sports facilities and venues built for Beijing 2008 were remodeled for Beijing 2022. The National Aquatics Center “Water Cube” was turned into an “Ice Cube” hosting events including curling. The Big Air Shougang venue was repurposed from a steel mill. For the first time at the Olympic Games, all Beijing 2022 venues were being powered with renewable energy. Environment-friendly refrigerants and carbon dioxide ice-making technology are used at ice venues increasing ice-making efficiency by about 30 percent and cutting emissions to nearly zero. Energy-saving and clean-energy vehicles account for 100 percent of all passenger cars.
The Beijing Winter Olympics utilized some of China’s newest achievements in science and technology, such as full 5G coverage of all venues, high-speed railway connecting two cities, underwater torch relay, new energy vehicles, accurate weather forecasting, ultra-high-speed camera system, robot restaurant, “zero-gravity” bed and so on. Many athletes shared their Beijing Olympic tours through social media, speaking highly of the high-tech venues and facilities.
Contributing to the world through the Winter Olympics
The original aspiration of the Olympic Movement is to jointly promote exchanges between civilizations and work together to build a community with a shared future for mankind. The Olympic spirit, which embodies mutual understanding, friendship, solidarity and fair play, should not be tainted by political manipulation. The Olympic Truce resolution drafted by China and the IOC was co-sponsored by 173 Member States and set a record number of countries co-sponsoring the Truce resolution for the recent Winter Olympics. This reflects the broad support of the international community for the Beijing Winter Olympics, and the positive role of the Beijing Winter Olympics in bridging differences and enhancing unity for all mankind.
The Beijing Winter Olympics provided a stage for nearly 3,000 athletes from 91 countries and regions to show their talents and enthusiasm. Athletes from different countries not only interpreted the Olympic motto of “Faster, Higher, Stronger – Together” on the field, but also bridged the gap and enhanced friendship through exchanges outside the field. Nearly 170 official representatives from 70 countries and international organizations came to China to cheer on the athletes. Over 2 billion people follow the Beijing Winter Olympics on global social media and television, making it the most-watched Winter Olympic Games in history.
In the process of bidding for the Beijing Winter Olympics, China put forward the goal of “driving 300 million people to participate in ice and snow sports”. By the beginning of 2021, China has 654 standard ice rinks and 803 ski resorts, an increase of 317% and 41% compared to 2015, and the number of ice and snow sports participants nationwide reached 346 million people. IOC President Bach said that China has become a veritable winter sports country, which will permanently change the world landscape of ice and snow sports and open a new era of global winter sports.
The shared love for sports forges a shared future
As there is no borders in sports, the Winter Olympic Games is the common wealth of all mankind. Although The Gambia, as a tropical African country, did not send athletes to Beijing Winter Olympics, we share the love for sports. At the recently concluded Africa Cup of Nations, The Gambia achieved a historic result and reached the last eight. The cheers and applause of the Gambians remain in my memory. Wherever I go in this country, no matter how poor the facilities are, I can always see youth and children playing football. The passion in their eyes makes me truly feel the power of sports.
The Gambian government has a long-standing commitment to youth and sports development. China and The Gambia have a long history of cooperation in the field of sports. For example, the Independence Stadium was built with the aid from China in 1983. I believe that under the inspiration of the Beijing Winter Olympics, China-Gambia sports cooperation will go from strength to strength. I also hope that winter sports will be able to break through the limitations of climate and geography and flourish in The Gambia in the future.
The Beijing Winter Paralympic Games will kick off on March 4. Let’s applaud for all the Paralympic athletes and wish the Olympic spirit continue to be passed on!