IOC chief lauds Beijing’s preparations for 2022 Winter Olympics
Sports Scene
01:43

The President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Thomas Bach, has given a “thumbs up” to China's preparations for the 2022 Winter Olympics. 

Bach began his inspection tour on Tuesday by heading to Chongli District in Zhangjiakou City, north China's Hebei Province, a four-hour drive from Beijing, as the area is the home to eight of the Games venues. The Zhangjiakou zone will host two sports, six disciplines, and an overall 51 medal events.

The 65-year-old then visited Yanqing District in Beijing, which contains three venues and a series of environmental protection measures were put in place even before the start of construction to build on the Organizing Committee's vision of delivering a "Green Olympics" three years from now.

IOC President Thomas Bach (middle) inspects Yanqing district in Beijing, January 29, 2019. /Photo from Beijing Organizing Committee for the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games

IOC President Thomas Bach (middle) inspects Yanqing district in Beijing, January 29, 2019. /Photo from Beijing Organizing Committee for the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games

A seemingly satisfied Bach, a former German fencer himself, said, “The great progress, but what is even more important, is we can see the plan raised by Chinese President Xi Jinping to make 300 million people familiar with winter sports obviously already works. We have met many children who love winter sports.”

During his latest visit to China, the IOC chief said he believes that the Beijing Games will be a success. 

By October last year, more than 800 ski facilities had been built across China, with about 50 million Chinese citizens having pursued skiing at least once. Analysts say the construction boom attracted around 150 million participants towards the winter sports.

The 2022 Winter Olympics will use 24 venues located in three competition clusters – downtown Beijing, Yanqing District, and Zhangjiakou city in the capital's neighboring province of Hebei.