By Andrzej Kraśnicki
The Beijing 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games will soon take place. I’m very delighted to go to Beijing again to witness the grand quadrennial event, and I’m fully convinced that Beijing will provide excellent services for all the participating athletes and present a wonderful Winter Olympics to the world.
The forthcoming 2022 Olympic Winter Games will mark the second time Beijing has hosted the Olympics following the 2008 Summer Olympics. It will also make Beijing a city that has hosted both the Summer and Winter Olympics.
In 2008, I took part in the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games as the President of Polish Handball Association, and was deeply impressed by Beijing’s preparations for the event in all aspects and the hospitality of the Chinese people.
This year, I will lead 55 Polish athletes to the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games. We have taken part in the test events for the Beijing 2022 in Yanqing competition zone of the Games, and are full of confidence in the preparatory work of the 2022 Winter Olympics. We believe the Beijing 2022 will be a sports event that satisfies athletes from all over the world. It will show all the people in the world how China hosts the world’s top sports event.
Ice and snow sports are very popular among the Polish people. However, due to limitations including venue and climate, there is still a long way to go for winter sports to become popular worldwide.
A leading sporting nation is built on robust mass sports. The Beijing 2022 will certainly further consolidate the foundation of winter sports in China and motivate more people to take part in ice and snow sports.
We have noticed that as China continuously unlocks the potential of its ice and snow sports industry, more and more outstanding athletes from China have participated in the Winter Olympics, which will usher in great progress in the development of winter sports in China.
The COVID-19 pandemic has posed certain challenges to the organization of the Beijing 2022 and athletes’ participation. We are currently organizing training and testing for our athletes and coaches in strict accordance with the requirements of the the Beijing 2022 Playbook that outlines COVID-19 countermeasures for the Games.
We will try our best to ensure the safety of our athletes during the Winter Olympics as well as their safe return to our country after the event.
China has achieved remarkable results in the battle against the pandemic, so we are confident about its epidemic prevention and control measures during the Games.
Olympic Games are a grand event for athletes from all over the world, and also a platform for demonstrating human solidarity and friendship. We oppose the politicization of sports and hope all the athletes who have prepared for the Beijing 2022 for years can take part in the event. I don’t think the noises made by a handful of people can affect the successful holding of the 2022 Olympic Winter Games.
The world has gone through a lot of changes since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, yet people’s enthusiasm for sports remains undiminished. The spirit of struggle and solidarity as well as the entrepreneurial spirit conveyed by sports are exactly the precious spiritual wealth mankind needs the most when faced with challenges.
The successful holding of the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games will inspire people around the world to overcome challenges brought by the pandemic and jointly create a better post-COVID world.
Since the opening of the Beijing 2022 will coincide with China’s Spring Festival holiday, I would like to extend New Year wishes to the Chinese people through People’s Daily.
I wish the Beijing 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games great success and all athletes participating in the event good luck.
(The author is the President of the Polish National Olympic Committee.