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CMG exclusive: IOC president confident about development of China's ice and snow sports


 , Updated 10:02, 02-Feb-2024

A journalist from China Media Group (CMG) interviewed International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach in South Korea's Gangneung on Wednesday.

Gangneung, along with Pyeongchang, Jeongseon and Hoengseong, was one of the four Winter Youth Olympic Games host cities in Gangwon province.

Bach confident about CMG's Olympic broadcasting

CMG will deploy a reporting team of around 2,000 people for the Paris 2024 Summer Olympic Games this summer.

"What CMG is doing, what you have been doing in all the recent Olympic Games, offering very broad coverage on the results of the sports, events, but also on the background, on the values and the overall messaging of the Olympic Games, which we just discussed, and there CMG has, in the past, really set the high standards," Bach said.

"We are sure, you will live up to your own high standards that you have been setting yourself, also in Paris," he added.

Youth athletes gain experience at Youth Olympics

"It gives them a great experience to take part in a multi-sport Olympic event. This is very, very helpful and this has been confirmed in many talks with athletes. Because some of the athletes, when they participate for the first time in Olympic games, they are overwhelmed. Everything is new. To meet so many athletes in from other sports, other countries living together in a village, and some of them are overwhelmed by these impressions," Bach said, adding "And therefore are distracted a little bit from concentrating on their sporting performance. With this Youth Olympic Games, they have this experience and then they can get ready and excited about the participation in the Olympic Winter Games."

Chinese athletes to get better results on the ice and snow sports 

"And it is a fact that sports on ice have a greater tradition in Asian countries. But I am sure that, you know, given Chinese the efficiency and thorough planning that, very soon, the athletes will catch up also in sports on the snow," he said.

Impressive development of snow and ice sports in China

"I think you are on a very good track there. Harbin has a long tradition in winter sports. It's also a very ambitious city, and a province, it can be a witness for this thanks to a visit there. With all the organization of more events, this can even boost the winter sport overall in China even more," he said.

Bach went on to say "But you have already achieved such a great success with more than 300 million Chinese being familiar with winter sports and the growth, the contribution to GDP in China is impressive. So what I can suggest is just keep going strong in this way."

Flourishing Olympic sport

"All the athletes have shown great performances and this gives a lot of hope for the forthcoming Olympic Winter Games. Because we see more and more that the Youth Olympic Games are an important stepping stone, then to the Olympic Games. And Chinese athletes, I can only congratulate, with 18 medals having won so far. This shows that the legacy of the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 is really effective. And China can look forward to great successes in the Olympic Winter Games," he said.

E-sports Olympics to be held, always respecting the Olympic values

Bach concluded "We have decided we will organize Olympic E-sports Games and we have also established the parameters. And that means you will see in these Olympic E-sports Games, virtual sports, that means games, virtual games, with physical activity. For instance, cycling, but in the meantime, also in Taekwondo and others. And you will also have E-games, but always respecting the Olympic values. That means there will be no E-Games which are in conflict with the Olympic values. From this basis, from these parameters, we are developing now, then, the program, the qualification, and everything what belongs to an Olympic E-sports Games."

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