Beijing’s 2022 Olympics bid looks good: minister
Updated: 2015-07-27 04:25
By JI YE in Brasilia(China Daily Latin America)
George Hilton, Brazil’s minister of sports, gives an exclusive interview to China Daily in Brasilia’s Ministry of Sports headquarters on July 23. ROBERTO CASTRO / FOR CHINA DAILY
With only one week left before the 2022 Winter Olympic Games host city will be announced, Brazil Sports Minister George Hilton expressed his support for Beijing and said China's capital had a great chance to win it.
"China is experiencing a golden period right now in various sectors such as energy and commerce," Hilton told China Daily in an exclusive interview in Brasilia on July 23. "Having hosted an amazing Summer Olympics [Beijing 2008], I believe there is a great chance for Beijing, you can already count on Brazil's support."
The Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics was hailed as "truly exceptional" by then IOC president Jacques Rogge. With its 2022 concept of hosting athlete-centered, sustainable and economical games, China is looking to make further contributions to the Olympics tradition.
The IOC will choose the host city for the 2022 Games at its 128th session in Kuala Lumpur on July 31.
Should it win the bid, Beijing would become the first city ever to host both the summer and winter games.
Hilton said that during his recent visit to China, he found China's school sports enjoying robust development with state-of-the-art sports facilities, whereas Brazil still depended on sports clubs to promote school sports.
"I'm very interested in the Chinese model of school sports and hope to bring it back to Brazil," Hilton said.
With little more than a year to go until the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympics Games, a new study has found that about half (49.5 percent) of Brazilians do not play any sports or partake in physical activity.
The survey also found that Brazilians aged 15 to 19 are the most active age group, with just 32.7 percent considered inactive.
"The results are shocking to me," Hilton said. "We want to encourage people to get involved in sports. As a legacy, we are building lots of infrastructure to encourage sports to flourish after the World Cup and Olympics."
Hilton has called on Brazilians to become more active and thinks Rio 2016 will provide an ideal opportunity to encourage the country’s average citizens to exercise more and play sports.
"Most of all it's a legacy of the Olympics for Brazilians. It promotes Brazilians to participate in sports. The Olympics will be the starting point as we will be creating a national network of training," Hilton said.
"Not only will it encourage high-performance athletes, but also sports initiatives in the inner cities," he added.
"The national system will help us in the administration and management of equipment that will enable the internalization of Brazilian sports."
Hilton said sports cooperation between China and Brazil has been increasing.
"We sent 40 badminton and table tennis athletes to China to train for the Rio Olympics. Brazil has also received some Chinese athletes, especially younger soccer players," he said.