President Xi Jinping says the competition venues are a clear demonstration of China's commitment to hosting a fantastic, extraordinary and excellent Olympic Winter Games in 2022.
BEIJING, Jan. 19 (Xinhua) -- Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, arrived at the Taizicheng station in Zhangjiakou on Tuesday for an inspection tour of the preparation work on the Beijing 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
Thanks to the Beijing-Zhangjiakou high-speed rail link that opened at the end of 2019, it took him less than 50 minutes to cover the 200 kilometers between the two cities, a trip he flew four years ago when he last inspected the Beijing 2022 co-host city.
The high-speed rail, which symbolizes "China Speed," marks essential progress in the preparations for the Winter Olympics, and so do the Games venues in Zhangjiakou, which were models on the sand table four years ago but now stand on the ground.
Two years ago, Xi greeted construction staff via video link when he visited the Olympic organizers' Shougang headquarters. On Monday, the General Secretary was there in person to view the completed National Sliding Center and the National Alpine Skiing Center, seeing China's first bobsled, skeleton and luge track as well as the country's first Olympic-standard Alpine piste.
The venue construction must meet Olympic standards and be completed on time, Xi said during his inspection tour in 2019.
Two years have passed, and the promise has been delivered.
By the end of 2020, all 12 competition venues for Beijing 2022 were completed, despite the uncertainties and challenges brought about by the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Notable landmarks include using carbon dioxide as refrigerants in ice-making for the first time in an Olympic scenario, and transferable rinks for curling events over swimming lanes at the National Aquatic Center, demonstrating China's determination to host a "green, inclusive, open and transparent" Games in alignment with the Olympic Agenda 2020.
In a video speech during Beijing's final presentation at the IOC session in Kuala Lumpur in 2015, Xi said: "Let me assure you that, if you choose Beijing, the Chinese people will present to the world a fantastic, extraordinary and excellent Olympic Winter Games in Beijing."
With roughly one year to go before the Games open on February 4, 2022, the Chinese people are ready to honor that promise and welcome friends from all over the world.