Yang Yang (A): Winter Olympics bid to boost China's winter sports
Updated: 2013-11-06 10:36
BEIJING - Yang Yang (A), the current IOC member and China's former short track speed skating Olympic champion, said Tuesday that bidding for the 2022 Winter Olympics is a good chance for China to boost its winter sports.
The Chinese Olympic Committee (COC) announced Tuesday that Beijing, the 2008 Summer Games host city, will bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics with another northern city of Zhangjiakou being a co-host.
"The news is not so surprising to me, as I heard the discussion about it before. No matter win or lose, it's a good opportunity for China to develop its winter sports," Yang Yang (A) told Xinhua.
As a two-time Olympic champion from 2002 Winter Olympics and a five-time Overall World Champion for 1998-2002, Yang Yang (A) has become an idol of China's winter sports. Her victory in the women's 500m short track at the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics made her China's first-ever Winter Olympics gold medalist.
From then on, China made progress step by step in the winter sports, and has showcased some power in speed skating, figure skating and women's curling so far. However, there is still a long way to go in the ski events and ice hockey.
"I think the bid itself is a very good first step. We can improve ourselves in the procedure and the whole world will know more about us," she noted.
"The world won't doubt our ability (to host the Games). Beijing has experience in hosting the games in such a level, and after the 2008 Summer Olympics, all IOC members are familiar with Beijing," she said.
On the Beijing-Zhangjiakou co-hosting plan, she said, "Geographically, the two cities can make up for each other to meet the qualification."
In the COC's plan, Beijing is expected to stage the ice events while Zhangjiakou, a city in Hebei province located almost 200km northwest to Beijing, holds snow sports.
An inter-city express railway is to be built between Beijing and Zhangjiakou. It will take about 40 minutes to travel from Beijing to Zhangjiakou once the railway is in use.
"In my memory, almost no city can win the bid in its first try. But we will try our best to approach it. China has robust development momentum. Then the key point is who will be our rivals," she said.
So far, Kazakhstan's Almaty and Ukraine's Lviv have also decided to bid for hosting the 2022 Games. Other potential contenders include Norway's Oslu, Germany's Munich, and a joint bid from Poland and Slovakia.
November 14 is the deadline for submission of bids to the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
The IOC will finalize the candidate list in July, 2014 and select the 2022 host in July, 2015.
Wei Jizhong: Winter Olympics bid to benefit China's overall development
Beijing, Zhangjiakou co-bid for 2022 Winter Olympics
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