SCIO press conference on progress of green Olympics and sustainability for Beijing 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games

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In previous Olympics, there have been issues regarding post-Games use of the stadiums and venues and the use of unrenewable energy. What measures have been taken so that the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics can tackle these issues? Thank you.

Li Sen:

Thank you for your good question. The utilization of venues after grand sporting events has been a difficulty across the globe. In this regard, we have been trying our best to deal with this problem throughout the process of bidding and preparation, and we will continue to do so after the Games are open. Six venues originally constructed for the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympic Games will be reused for the upcoming Winter Olympics. Based on the existing experience, we have made plans for using all newly-constructed venues after the Games. We have taken the post-Games use of venues into full consideration while planning and designing them. The costs can be reduced with coordinated planning and synchronized design. These arrangements can be summarized in the following aspects:

First, we will bid for and hold high-level sporting events at these venues and stadiums. The Beijing Winter Olympics will be held in world-class venues and stadiums. In preparing for the Games, the local sports authorities and the venue owners have established mechanisms to better communicate and cooperate with international winter sports organizations, which will enable us to continue to bid for and hold high-level international and domestic sporting events after the Winter Olympics, so as to boost stadium operations and promote the development of ice and snow sports.

Second, we will ensure that all those stadiums and venues are open to the public. They will not only hold competitive sporting events but also serve as places for the public to do physical activities. At the beginning of the planning and design of all the new Olympic stadiums and venues, we have given thorough consideration to their availability for the public after the Games. For example, the National Speed Skating Oval in Beijing, also known as the "Ice Ribbon," is an iconic venue with an ice surface of about 12,000 square meters. This is designed for the public's use in the future, as mainly the 400-meter outer track will be used in the long track speed skating. Moreover, its central part can be divided into two standard ice rinks and this is an innovation. The venue will allow 2,000 people to skate at any given time after the Games. Let's take another example, the National Bobsleigh and Tobogganing Center in Yanqing district, which hosts the world's 17th track for bobsleigh and tobogganing. These niche sports are relatively high-risk. So, we designed a special area in the lower region where the slope is gentler, making it possible for the public to experience this sport after the Games.

Third, we make efforts to ensure that the venues can be open year-round. Winter sports are sensitive to the seasons. Seasonality is not that obvious when it comes to ice sports, as most ice rinks are built indoors, and artificial ice is available all year round. In this regard, they can be open to the public or be used to hold grand sports events and leisure activities year-round. However, except in winter, it would be difficult to experience snow sports or hold such sports events in the snow sports venues in Yanqing and Zhangjiakou competition zones. Eyeing this, by taking advantages of their natural ecological conditions, we have made the venues that are located in the mountainous areas suitable for outdoor sports, such as jogging, cross country running, mountain biking, mountaineering and rock climbing. We have also stepped up efforts to boost the development of tourism, mountain resorts and the outdoor sports industry by making use of local cultural and historical advantages. Perhaps you've already been to the competition zone in Zhangjiakou. As a matter of fact, the Genting Snow Park there receives more visitors in spring, summer and autumn for leisure seeking than in winter for snow skiing.

Fourth, we make efforts to ensure the joint development of the venues and regions. The post-Games use of venues is not about the operation of a certain venue but to integrate its development with the development of local areas, which should be planned and materialized in an overall program. Take the Yanqing competition zone as an example, as the home of Winter Olympic venues, Beijing Expo Park and the Great Wall, it ramps up efforts to develop distinctive sports and cultural tourism, with developing integrated tourism as the main approach. Likewise, the Olympic venues in the Zhangjiakou competition zone are used in developing Zhangjiakou into a "Sports City" and a tourism destination in Asia for ice-and-snow tourism and resorts that receives visitors year-round and adopts an integrated approach in developing tourism. Moreover, we also step up efforts to promote synergies among the Olympic venues and winter sports resources in the three competition zones, and integrate them with the public ice and snow facilities and sports facilities, as well as the natural and cultural resources for tourism along the areas between Beijing and Zhangjiakou, so as to boost the development of the Beijing-Zhangjiakou sports and cultural tourism belt with the help of the Beijing-Zhangjiakou high-speed railway and the Beijing-Chongli Expressway, driving high-quality development of the surrounding areas. Such development synergies will thereby ensure that the Olympic venues will be used in a long-term, comprehensive and sustainable manner. Thank you.

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