Wei Jizhong: Winter Olympics bid to benefit China's overall development
Updated: 2013-11-06 09:18
BEIJING - Bidding for Winter Olympics will benefit China's political, economic, cultural and social development, said Wei Jizhong, the honorary life president of Federation International de Volleyball (FIVB), on Tuesday.
The Chinese Olympic Committee (COC) announced on Tuesday afternoon that Beijing, the host city of 2008 Summer Olympics, will launch a joint bid to host the 2022 Winter Olympic Games together with another northern Chinese city of Zhangjiakou.
According to Wei, the stability and economic capability have become the two prerequisites that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) values most in its selection for hosts.
Since Pyeongchang of South Korea had won the 2018 Winter Olympics bid, Beijing as another Asian city might face a daunting task to beat the odds.
"IOC is increasingly realistic in the selection as the concepts of rotation and balance among different continents are gradually fading these years," Wei, also the COC former general-secretary, told Xinhua.
Wei believes that China's bidding for Winter Olympics is a signal of its healthy economic growth and the "co-bid" with Zhangjiakou is also an opportunity of stimulating the development of northern China as a whole.
In the COC's plan, Beijing is expected to stage the ice events while Zhangjiakou holds snow sports.
It was announced on Monday that an inter-city express railway is to be built between Beijing and Zhangjiakou, a city in Hebei province located almost 200km northwest of Beijing.
Construction will start on the 174km line at the end of this year. It will take about 40 minutes to travel from Beijing to Zhangjiakou once the railway is in use.
As for China's relatively weak winter sports, Wei said that the bid would bring more professional ice skating courts and ski resorts to the Chinese people, encouraging them to attend all kinds of winter events.
"China does make some breakthroughs in winter sports these years, but the whole level still needs to be improved," Wei said.
Wei noted that no matter succeed or not, bidding for Winter Games is a push for China's reform and opening to outside world.