The International Paralympic Committee (IPC), International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Beijing 2022 Organising Committee concluded a virtual Joint Project Review on 20 November, during which achievements, future milestones and COVID-19 countermeasures were discussed.
Following the meetings, which took place on 19 and 20 November, IPC President Andrew Parsons said: “Having set Beijing 2022 the target of taking the Paralympic Winter Games to the next level, they continue to make strong progress despite the unprecedented challenges they face as an Organising Committee.
“Working with our counterparts at the IOC, we hope to continue the close collaboration with Beijing 2022 as they tackle a complex final full year before the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in 2022. The Games in Beijing offer immense potential and will do much to advance the rights of people with disabilities in China.”
IOC Coordination Commission Chair Juan Antonio Samaranch said: “The last two days have been very productive as we prepare to enter a crucial phase for the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games Beijing 2022. With competition venues set to be completed by the end of this year and plans for One Year to Go activities developing, excitement is really beginning to build.”
He continued: “Acknowledging the difficulties experienced this year, the progress being made by Beijing 2022 has been remarkable. This has been reflected through positive feedback from several International Federations that have visited Beijing in recent weeks. There will be challenges ahead, however, which is why – through, for example, the COVID-19 countermeasure working group – we are fully preparing for all eventualities. To achieve this, the experience and expertise within the Local Organising Committee, the support from the Chinese and Beijing governments and the close collaboration between all Olympic and Paralympic Movement stakeholders will ensure we are stronger together. This will be vital to delivering outstanding Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Beijing in 2022.”
Beijing 2022 Executive Vice-President Zhang Jiandong said: “After the outbreak of COVID-19 earlier this year, closely collaborating with the IOC and IPC, Beijing 2022 not only prioritised the prevention and control of the pandemic, but also focused on Games preparations. We strive to overcome various difficulties and have made solid progress. In the coming days, facing the new situation and challenges, cooperation among all parties will be even further strengthened, thus laying a solid foundation for successful Beijing 2022 Games.”
One of the key steps taken during these meetings was the agreement, by all Games delivery partners, on the formation of a COVID-19 countermeasures working group. This discussion provided the IOC and IPC with an opportunity to share the extensive work being undertaken in this area for the Tokyo 2020 Games, thanks to the support of local and national governments, the World Health Organisation and various experts across the world.
As far as competition venues go, Beijing 2022 reported that these all remain on track to be completed by the end of this year. This follows several visits by International Federations in recent weeks, including the pre-homologation of the sliding centre conducted by the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (IBSF) and International Luge Federation (FIL). The International Biathlon Union (IBU), World Curling Federation (WCF), International Skating Union (ISU) and International Ski Federation (FIS) also visited venues in Beijing last week.
The importance of regular communication was also highlighted during the Project Review. The recent World Press Briefing received a lot of positive feedback from attendees. Held online for the first time, this event welcomed more than 400 media representatives, a record for an Olympic Winter Games edition. Further communications were delivered through a National Olympic Committee Open Day conducted earlier this week, also held online for the first time, while numerous other activities took place remotely, such as venue technical reviews and Games services reviews.
In addition, the adapted sports testing programme was discussed following the recent joint decision by Beijing 2022, the Winter Olympic International Federations, the IOC and the IPC. In this respect, great collaboration was acknowledged, as this move is fully in line with the spirit of Olympic Agenda 2020 and its New Norm.