President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Thomas Bach. Photo: CFP
President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Thomas Bach hailed the closed-loop management as “very successful as it has made everyone in the bubble feel safe and comfortable.
Bach’s remark was made at a press briefing on Friday at the main media center of Beijing Winter Olympics. He stressed that Beijing’s outstanding anti-epidemic measures were a message to the world: as long as the spirit of solidarity is upheld and everyone contributes, a world class event can be held amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Medical staff performing swab tests at the Zhangjiakou Competition Zone of the 2022 Winter Olympics on February 1, 2022. (Xinhua/Wu Diansen)
Bach said the Beijing’s Olympic bubble, is one of the safest places in the world, if it is not dubbed as the safest. Bach said the athletes were very happy and satisfied with all the services provided inside the closed loop. “They [athletes] showed the Olympic spirit, which I have never felt in previous Games,” Bach said.
The IOC president noted that there were 2.7 billion comments about the Beijing Winter Games on the IOC’s social media accounts. Athletes’ Sina Weibo posts received 1 billion comments.
According to Bach, the Beijing 2022 Games attracted at least a million new sports fans, especially young people who followed the Games through digital platforms, which is remarkable. He also said the Games attracted 600 million Chinese television viewers.
China has hit its goal of engaging 300 million people to participate in winter sports in advance of the 2022 Winter Games. Bach spoke highly of China’s achievement.
It opens up a whole new world for ice and snow sports, Bach said. If even a small percentage of the 300 million people really love ice and snow sports, or if some young people are willing to take up ice and snow sports or even go professional, the future picture of world winter sports will be completely different.
Bach said the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics will certainly leave a defining legacy.
Many international sports organizations are also discussing with China the possibility of hosting more events including the World Cup in Beijing in the future, Bach noted.