Seeing China through Beijing 2022 – Greener, more open and happier – Xinhua English.news.cn

— While pursuing green development, the “double Olympic city” also strives to present a more open, inclusive and joyful Games for athletes, volunteers and spectators.

— Despite having advantages on the field, the country has decided not to set medal goals or quotas for Chinese athletes, a decision meant to represent the aspirations of the Chinese people and in line with the Olympic spirit.

— From power supply equipment to ice-making technology, China has warmly welcomed foreign companies as an indispensable role in its Winter Olympics stories.

BEIJING, Feb. 12 (Xinhua) — When Gu Ailing competed for his first Olympic gold medal at the Shougang Big Air on Tuesday, the image of the Olympic rings, steampunk-style cooling towers and “flying skiers” stunned the world.

China’s Gu Ailing competes in the women’s big air freeski final at Big Air Shougang in Beijing, capital of China, Feb. 8, 2022. (Xinhua/Li Ga)

Converted from the site of a former steel industrial park under the Shougang Group, the sports venue presents a unique backdrop and encapsulates China’s vision of sustainable development to host the Games.

Beijing 2008 offered the former steelworks the opportunity to relocate and transform. The silos are now the offices of the Beijing Winter Olympics Organizing Committee; a former workshop has become the Chinese national team’s ice training base; the large freestyle ski jump was built next to the cooling towers.

While pursuing green development, the “double Olympic city” also strives to present a more open, inclusive and joyful Games for athletes, volunteers and spectators.

Photo taken on Dec. 28, 2021 shows a view of the Big Air Shougang, the site of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, capital of China. (Xinhua/Tao Xiyi)

GREENER APPROACH

Under clear blue skies, the distant hills on the outskirts of Beijing are clearly visible, a testament to the city’s improved air quality.

In recent years, the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region and surrounding areas have accelerated the restructuring of industry, energy and transportation, and made great efforts to control air pollution.

As a result, the average concentration of PM2.5 pollutants in Beijing fell from 89.5 micrograms per cubic meter to 33 micrograms per cubic meter from 2013 to 2021, and the number of heavy pollution days per year fell from 58 to eight. , data from the Ministry of Ecology and the Environment.

In addition to blue skies, there is green electricity.

Staff members of the State Grid Beijing Electric Power Company check devices of the Zhangbei renewable energy flexible DC grid in Beijing, capital of China, Sept. 25, 2021. (Xinhua/Li Xin)

The Zhangbei Renewable Power Flexible DC Grid Test and Demonstration Project enables the supply of 100% green electricity to the three competition areas in Beijing, Yanqing and Zhangjiakou.

In a period from the start of green electricity supply in early 2019 to the close of the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games, the project is expected to save 128,000 tons of coal from burning, reducing carbon dioxide emissions. of carbon of 320,000 tons.

However, this is not the whole story. Not only has China reduced its greenhouse gas emissions, but it has also put them to good use. Five of the nine ice rinks at the Games competition venues use CO2 in the manufacture of ice, marking the first use of a natural CO2 refrigeration system at the Olympic Games.

National Speed ​​Skating Oval project engineer Song Jiafeng said using carbon dioxide as a refrigerant can increase ice-making efficiency by 30 percent and save about two million kilowatts of electricity per year. .

A staff member skates at the National Speed ​​Skating Oval after the stadium’s first ice-making operation in Beijing, capital of China, Jan. 19, 2021. (Xinhua/Zhang Chenlin)

This practice has been welcomed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Pierre Ducrey, the IOC’s director of operations for the Olympic Games, hailed the choice of Beijing as an “important and responsible decision”.

The decision will be a very important asset in supporting Beijing 2022’s sustainability ambitions and commitments for Olympic venue infrastructure, according to Ducrey.

MORE HAPPY GAMES

From the first moments of the Opening Ceremony, Beijing 2022 was an unforgettable experience for spectators and athletes alike.

Leon Vockensperger, a snowboarder from Germany, shared his excitement for the opening ceremony with a video post on social media. “I will remember this moment for the rest of my life,” the video caption read. Footage showed him bumping fists with a volunteer as he walked through the stadium.

In sports, hot and teary moments also stole the show from adrenaline-pumping competitions.

For example, after winning a historic silver medal in slopestyle snowboarding, 17-year-old Chinese snowboarder Su Yiming decided to give champion Max Parrot and bronze medalist Mark McMorris a big hug, sharing his excitement with two Canadian athletes. who Su regards as his “idols and heroes”.

Su Yiming (L) of China, Max Parrot (C) and Mark McMorris of Canada pose during the flower ceremony after the men’s snowboard slopestyle final at Genting Snow Park in Zhangjiakou, north China’s Hebei province , Feb. 7, 2022. (Xinhua/ Yang Shiyao)

The solidarity among the athletes has won huge praise from Chinese netizens.

Regardless of borders and nationalities, the Chinese applauded every athlete crossing the finish line in cross-country skiing competitions, expected Japanese figure skater Yuzuru Hanyu to accomplish the seemingly impossible quadruple axel, and addressed uplifting comments to Birk Ruud of Norway, the men’s big air freeski gold medalist, for taking his national flag on his last run.

Birk Ruud of Norway competes in the men’s freestyle big air freeski final at Big Air Shougang in Beijing, capital of China, Feb. 9, 2022. (Xinhua/Liu Xu)

As the host of the Games, China has upheld scientific, healthy and open-minded values ​​by participating in the Olympics. Even though with on-court advantages, the country decided not to set any medal goals or quotas for Chinese athletes, a decision meant to represent the aspirations of the Chinese people and in line with the Olympic spirit.

The new generation of Chinese athletes are optimistic about results and more focused on enjoying the experience.

“Enjoy!” This is what Su told Gu Ailing, who will later compete in a final with the best players in the world. “Do your best and you will definitely achieve wonderful results,” Su said, showing confidence and spunk towards the competition.

Such an attitude is also adopted by Chinese Internet users. “It’s okay, you’ve done your best already,” read a comment on Chinese microblogging site Sina Weibo, after Chinese athlete Ren Ziwei failed to make it to the men’s 1500m final. short track speed skating on Wednesday.

A MORE OPEN AND INCLUSIVE CHINA

China’s national treasure, the panda, was again chosen as the mascot. Bing Dwen Dwen quickly built up a fanbase across the world. Prince Albert II of Monaco, father of twins, was offered a Bing Dwen Dwen figurine in Beijing, and asked for one more for his children.

Cao Xue, head of the mascot design team, didn’t expect so much passion for their work.

What sets Bing Dwen Dwen apart from previous mascots is her ice shell. According to the introduction on the official Olympics website, the mascot represents “China’s hospitality to athletes and spectators.”

“Bing Dwen Dwen is a design we made for the world and the future,” Cao said. “Under the mascot’s icy shell hides softness and warmth.”

Behind the mascot idea are Cao’s more than 20 years of living in Guangzhou, southern China, a pioneer of China’s reform and opening up in the late 1970s. openness and inclusiveness of the city inspired the design, he said.

Beijing officially announced its candidacy to the IOC as a Candidate City for the 2022 Winter Olympics in 2013, which is also the year the country proposed the Belt and Road Initiative, a platform major form for international development cooperation.

Since then, China’s vision for greater openness has been consistent with the country’s efforts to host its first Winter Olympics. From power supply equipment to ice-making technology, China has warmly welcomed foreign companies as an indispensable role in its Winter Olympics stories.

“We have great confidence in the Chinese market,” said Tetsuro Homma, executive vice president of Panasonic Corporation, a technical service provider for Beijing 2022 venues and Games broadcast.

As China delivered on its promise to engage 300 million people in winter sports, fueling the rise of healthier lifestyles, global companies saw a huge market for winter sports.

German winterwear brand Bogner announced a joint venture with Chinese clothing group Bosideng late last year. The alliance will lead to the establishment of a digital presence and the opening of 80 stores over the next five years.

The current fever for the panda mascot is exactly the result of China’s success in introducing winter sports, said Zhao Weidong, spokesperson for the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games Organizing Committee. in Beijing.

(Video reporters: Wu Zhangwei, A Sigang; Video editors: Zhu Cong, Wei Yin)

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