Sports\Team China

IOC chairman gives thumb up to National Games innovations | Updated: 2017-08-26 19:55

IOC chairman gives thumb up to National Games innovations

International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach talks during an interview with Jia Zheng, chief editor of the Chinese Loong magazine. [Photo provided to China Daily] 

The upcoming National Games won praise from International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach with its innovation of inviting the masses to compete for medals.

"I am really looking forward to this National Games because they will offer a new form of these games, because they may offer many opportunities for everybody to take part. And I think this is a very innovative, very modern and dynamic approach, " Bach said in a recent interview with Jia Zheng, chief editor of the Chinese Loong magazine.

The 13th Chinese National Games, which will kick off in Tianjin on Sunday, set up 19 sports for grassroots athletes, including table tennis, badminton, roller skating, rock climbing, tai chi, bridge and Chinese chess.

Bach said that it's a great idea to add competition events for grassroots athletes. This will offer everyone the chance to participate and be inspired by the leading athletes.

When asked about Beijing's preparations for the 2022 Winter Olympics, Bach said that the preparation is going very well and he's confident that there will be an excellent Olympic Games in 2022.

Construction of new facilities and renovation of existing venues are slated to be completed by the end of 2019, according to the Beijing Organizing Committee. New infrastructure projects are also under construction.

As the first city awarded both the Summer and Winter Olympics, Beijing will reuse much of the original infrastructure, including the National Aquatics Center, also known as the Water Cube, and the National Stadium, dubbed the Bird's Nest.

Bach spoke highly of Beijing's reuse approach.

"We want to make the Olympic Games more sustainable...and to use the facilities of 2008 is a perfect example of its sustainability and development," said Bach.

Regarding China's efforts to push forward the development of the sports industry, Bach said that with its 1.3 billion people, economic power and innovation, it's already exerting an influence.

"This national development plan with regard to sport will not only influence the sports industry, it will influence the health industry, and it will also influence the approach to education. So, I think it is a visionary plan, which will deeply affect not only China, but the entire world," he said.

As an athlete to compete in China back in 1980, Bach has a long friendship with Chinese people and a close bond with China.

"I am very happy to see the growing importance of China in the international world sports, not only by organizing excellent international events or Olympic games, but also taking more and more responsibility in international organizations, like the IOC," he said, referring to IOC's Vice President Yu Zaiqing, who was elected to the post in 2014 for a second term.

Earlier this year, the IOC and Alibaba Group jointly announced a long-term partnership through 2028. It will become the official "Cloud Services" and "E-Commerce Platform Services" Partner, as well as a Founding Partner of the Olympic Channel.

Bach said that the reason that IOC chose to cooperate with Alibaba is that it's a brand-name of worldwide reputation. "With Alibaba, we can lead the Olympic Games into the next stage," he added.

Talking about Hangzhou, which will hold the 2022 Asian Games, Bach said that he is excited about the progress that the city has made in the last couple of years.

"Having seen this achievement, I have no doubt that the Asian games 2022 will be great success," he said.

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