Local residents pose for photo at the countdown screen for the opening ceremony of the Beijing 2022 Olympic Games in Zhangjiakou City, north China's Hebei Province on Feb. 4. Photo by Bi Ruixiang/People’s Daily Online
Local residents pose for photo at the countdown screen for the opening ceremony of the Beijing 2022 Olympic Games in Zhangjiakou City, north China's Hebei Province on Feb. 4. Photo by Bi Ruixiang/People’s Daily Online

By Ren Yan

My message primarily is that the Beijing games I believe will be a wonderful winter Olympic Games, Anthony Edgar, former head of media operations for the International Olympic Committee (IOC), told People’s Daily in an exclusive interview on Fe. 3, ahead of the one-year countdown to the Beijing Olympic Games in 2022.

Edgar announced retirement after working with IOC in January 2020. Following the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, which he covered as a journalist/photographer for a sports magazine, Edgar was offered the opportunity to join the Sydney 2000 sports department, responsible for sport content and publications for the Olympics and Paralympics.

In 2001, the International Volleyball Federation invited Edgar to join them as press chief, which brought him to Switzerland from his hometown in Australia. Two years later, he was offered the position of IOC head of media operations for the Olympics.

Edgar, who visited proposed venues for the Games in Zhangjiakou, Hebei province, and in Beijing, said he was deeply impressed with the legacies of the 2008 Summer Olympics with sustainable development.

China National Aquatics Center, better known as Water Cube, hosted aquatics events at the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games. The Water Cube has been turned into Ice Cube for the upcoming Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games, as the stadium will host the curling and wheelchair curling events.

Beijing’s National Stadium, known around the world as the “Bird’s Nest”, the inauguration of 2008 Olympic Games was held there, will host the opening and closing ceremonies of the Winter Olympics in 2022.

“As the city that once hosted the Summer Olympics, Beijing has tried to reuse the existing venues and made full use of the legacy,” said Edgar, sustainability strategy in preparation for the winter sport extravaganza in China marks an important milestone in holding green Olympic Games.

He also praised the the preparation for Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games, “Beijing has done an amazing job at very difficult circumstances to keep preparations going smoothly, in terms of both infrastructure construction and operation despite the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“In my opinion, China is ready to host a successful Winter Olympics. So far, most of the venues are ready, and only the final stage of technical and safety testing is required. “he said, “I have great expectations for the Beijing 2022 Olympic Games.”

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