Two-time Olympic medallist and three-time world champion Li Nina, ambassador for Beijing's 2022 Winter Olympics bid, believes that Beijing would provide a truly athlete-centered Winter Olympics if it wins the bid.
Li shared her favorite Olympic memories with a group of college students in Beijing this week and talked about her involvement as Ambassador in Beijing's bid for the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. She explained what hosting an "athlete-centered" Olympics means to her, and how Beijing 2022 will make sure that all athletes' needs are fully met.
"When it comes to preparing an environment that allows athletes to compete in their best condition, few understand it at the level that the actual athletes do. Fortunately, the Beijing 2022 team understands this, which is why they have brought myself and fellow members of Team China on board since the very beginning to provide suggestions on how to provide a truly athlete-centered Winter Olympics," said Li, who is dubbed the "Snow Princess".
As China's first freestyle skiing world champion, Li has been lauded as part of a generation of athletes that have helped to launch China's image as a true winter sports competitor on the global stage.
Along with other famous Chinese Olympic athletes including former NBA star and international sensation Yao Ming, Olympic figure skating champions Zhao Hongbo and Shen Xue, as well as Olympic gold medalist long track speed skater Zhang Hong, Li Nina has been a part of the Beijing 2022 Winter Games development plan since the very beginning in order to help ensure that Beijing 2022 delivers a version of the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games that raises the bar for athlete experience.
Li explained what exactly staging an "athlete-centered" Olympics would entail by describing Beijing 2022's careful designing of the "end-to-end" athlete journey, which include optimal athlete conditions during pre-Games, Games-time and post-Games.
The "end-to-end" journey, is all-encompassing and includes everything from venues and cultural activities, to medical transport, even to ensuring that athletes have an unforgettable Chinese New Year's experience - including local cuisine and festive traditions - all at the foot of the Great Wall of China, said Li.
"You have to think both big and small when designing an Olympics specially catering athletes' needs," she said.
"On one hand, you have to ensure that the overall atmosphere is memorable, but then you also have to focus on details such as barrier-free athletes' villages and convenient transportation to competition zones, all of which are included in the Beijing 2022 bid."
Beijing will co-host the Games with Zhangjiakou, a Hebei province city some 200 kilometers northwest to the Chinese capital, if it wins the bid. Almaty, Kazakhstan, is the other candidate city vying for the event.
The IOC will select the host city on July 31 in Kuala Lumpur.
Original title by womenofchina: Olympic Medallist Li Nina: Beijing Will Provide 'Athlete-Centered' Winter Olympics