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IOC President Bach gives full marks to Beijing's 2022 preparations

IANS  |  Beijing 

(IOC) on Wednesday said that he would give China's preparations for the 2022 Winter a perfect ten.

Bach, who inspected several 2022 competition zones in Zhangjiakou and Yanqing on Tuesday, made the comments during an exclusive interview with

"The impressions are really excellent. The progress being made is remarkable. The projects are within the schedule," Bach said of the construction sites for events including ski jumping, Nordic combined, alpine and biathlon.

The IOC added that he was equally impressed by the rise in the popularity of winter among the Chinese people.

"What is important is that we see the growing engagement of the Chinese people with winter We met children who were enthusiastically playing winter sports, and we met tourists who are becoming familiar with winter sports, and therefore making a great contribution to achieve this goal of making 300 million Chinese familiar with winter sports," Bach said.

With roughly three years to go before open, the seven-year preparation time has reached its halfway point. When asked how many marks out of ten he would give for the work already completed, Bach replied "ten".

While the showcase the world's most elite athletes, the broader centres on blending sport with culture, which 2022 has made efforts to embrace.

"With an education programme, we see that there is a team of people who are touring and spreading Olympic values among the nation's youth. And we see many pieces of art being produced and displayed around the world, including at the in Lausanne," Bach said.

The 2022 will take place in February, which will coincide with that year's Spring Festival, China's most important public holiday. Bach said that it would add to the experience for both the Games' participants and the Chinese people.

"It is a great opportunity for and the Chinese people to promote their culture and tradition to the world. And it's a great opportunity for the world to become more familiar with and learn more about Chinese culture and traditions," he said.

Apart from hosting a successful in 2022, also aims to have at least one competitor in each of the 109 events. Bach admitted that this would represent a big challenge for the host nation, but still expressed confidence in the Chinese athletes.

"It is very important that China has set this goal, because the success and participation of the home team always plays an important role for the overall success of the Olympic Games," Bach said.

"There we can see some progress already being made, but we can see that there is still a lot to do. (Achieving this) needs a lot of international experience, and it also needs cooperation with international coaches, because there is a lack of experience in both training and competition.

"But knowing my Chinese friends, I am sure they will make good use of the remaining three years and will eventually have a strong team in these Winter "

China claimed one gold medal at last year's in PyeongChang, with eight more silver and bronze medals seeing them placed 16th in the overall standings.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, January 30 2019. 19:20 IST