The following text is the transcript of the speech by Wang Anshun, the mayor and president of Beijing 2022 Bid Committee, at the 2015 SportsAccord Convention in sochi Russia.
As representatives of 109 International Sports Federations gather this week in Sochi for the SportAccord Convention, one question is likely on all participants’ minds: how to ensure that, at a time of pressing economic and political issues, their sports keep developing in a sustainable and healthy way?
Perhaps the very same question was among those that prompted the International Olympic Committee members to unanimously vote in favour of the Olympic Agenda 2020, a strategic roadmap focused on bringing the Games back to what they should be about: sport - while ensuring sustainability and cost-efficiency of all Olympic projects.
A long-term strong and clear business plan and a genuine passion for sport are two non-negotiable requirements in order for any major sports project or event, let alone an event on such a grand scale as the Olympic Games, to be successful and to continue to address challenges and bring positive sustainable changes to our societies.
A determination to bring the best conditions and first-class services for both athletes to shine and fans to enjoy the thrill of sport has been a core driver of Beijing 2022’s planning since the bid’s inception, additionally boosted by the rich experience that Beijing acquired through hosting the Games in 2008. It will also continue to guide our planning and delivery of the Games. To plan this experience for the athletes, we have carefully considered and laid out the “end-to-end” athlete journey, including pre-Games, Games-time and post-Games.
In line with our athlete-centred core value, Beijing 2022 has been actively engaging with athletes by bringing a number of Chinese winter sports stars - including Yang, Li Nina, Zhang Hong and many more - on board, ensuring they are involved in the Games plans development all the way since the very beginning of the bid. We will continue to do so, if our bid is successful, by establishing early on an Athletes’ Commission involving athletes from every sport on the programme, which will help ensure that all athletes’ needs are fully met. We are also keen on granting National Olympic and Paralympic Committees access to all venues for their athletes to train and get familiarised with the fields of play prior to the Games - all in consistent coordination with the IOC, the International Paralympic Committee and the International Federations.
Our venue plan ensures the travel time between each venue and its corresponding Olympic Village is as short as possible ©Beijing 2022
In order to create an overall 2022 Games experience with sport at its core combined with great fun, entertainment and cultural opportunities that the cosmopolitan city of Beijing offers, we have carefully designed and will keep adjusting the athlete experience throughout all aspects, from venues to cultural activities, and from medical services to transport.
Our venue plan successfully ensures that the distance and travel time between each venue and its corresponding Olympic Village is as short as possible. All 12 competition venues are within a 15-minute drive from the Olympic Village in the corresponding cluster. All venues and services of the Beijing 2022 Games will be accessible and inclusive. Paralympic athletes will be provided barrier-free facilities and services that meet the standards of the IPC, ensuring that they will be able to once again inspire the world with their outstanding achievements that remind us that nothing is impossible.
The Olympic Villages themselves will reflect athletes’ own visions about what an ideal Olympic Village should deliver in terms of living space, environment, fitness and sporting facilities, food and beverages, accommodation and services. We plan to carefully combine a relaxing environment perfect for competition preparation and a fun, cultural and high-tech environment. As the Olympic Winter Games coincides with the Chinese Spring Festival (also referred to as the Chinese New Year - arguably the liveliest time of the year in China), a large variety of festive and recreational activities, including music, dance and other art performances, will be offered in the Olympic Villages.
Beijing 2008 Games’ experience and legacy will be put to full use in order to provide the athletes with the best experience, all while ensuring sustainability and cost-efficiency of the 2022 Games. This includes eleven out of the twelve competition and non-competition venues in the Beijing Zone, but also broader city and regional infrastructure and a pool of high-level professionals across a number of areas regarding Games operations.
To ensure the delivery of a Games-time atmosphere charged with excitement and rife with cheering fans, Beijing will build on its already strong public support (over 90 per cent of Chinese citizens currently support the Games) to inspire more people to become involved in the Games. As it already stands, the Chinese Government has successful programmes such as the “300 Million People Winter Sports Plan” aimed at enhancing public knowledge about and participation in winter sports, as well as the “One Million Youth on Ice and Snow Programme” which provides free or low-priced access to winter sports facilities and competitions. Furthermore, a tailored Beijing 2022 Educational Programme will be launched for the young people in China with a particular focus on citizens in Beijing and Zhangjiakou.