Bach: World Winter Sports Expo sends strong signal of confidence
The World Winter Sports Expo 2020 (WWSE) came at an important time during the global COVID-19 pandemic and holding the Expo in Beijing sent a strong signal of confidence, International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach said at the Expo's opening ceremony on Saturday.
"Because of the unprecedented global coronavirus pandemic, we are all living with much uncertainty. We are still learning every day about the impact of this global crisis on all aspects of our lives. This is why this year's World Winter Sports Expo comes at an important time," Bach said via a video link.
"Holding the Expo in the Olympic city of Beijing sends a strong signal of confidence. The world of sport is ready to contribute to the recovery from the crisis and to rebuilding a more human-centered and inclusive society."
Due to the pandemic, this year's Expo was held both online and offline. At the Expo in Beijing, more than 500 Chinese and foreign brands from more than 20 countries and regions showcased their products and services.
As the annual WWSE enters its fifth year, the Expo, which is made up of theme forums and exhibitions, served the preparations of Beijing 2022, the development of China's ice and snow industry and the development of winter sports.
"By bringing together the winter sport industry under the theme of the Power of Ice and Snow, the World Winter Sports Expo is the perfect platform to highlight this important contribution of sport to the recovery. The Expo is also an important step as China gets ready to welcome the world's best winter sport athletes in 2022," Bach said.
Bach added that he believed the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing would be a unique opportunity to inspire a new generation with the Olympic values of excellence, friendship, respect and solidarity.
"The IOC continues to be impressed by the progress of the preparations. And we are all looking forward to writing this new chapter in China's great sporting history."
(Cover: Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee, speaks via a video link during the WWSE, Beijing, September 5, 2020. /Xinhua News Agency)