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IOC credits Beijing 2022 progress amid pandemic

The International Olympic Committee’s Coordination Commission for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics has praised China’s preparation efforts.

The remarks were made at the fifth meeting of the Coordination Commission, which was held online and featured updates on the preparations.

International federations, World Para Sport representatives, and the leadership of the Beijing 2022 Organising Committee took part in the meeting.

Coordination Commission chair Juan Antonio Samaranch said: “China has faced an incredibly difficult period over the past few months – our thoughts are with all those impacted…Despite these unique circumstances, Beijing 2022 has continued to meet key milestones, a true testament to their determination to provide the perfect stage for the world’s top winter athletes in just under two years’ time.”

The status of venues was one of several talking points during the meeting. Commission members were pleased to hear of developments being made on the Olympic and Paralympic Villages as it was confirmed that a section of the Yanqing Village is expected to be completed by the end of this year.

They also welcomed the first completed indoor training venue in the Beijing competition zone, the “Ice Jar”, on May 27. This facility incorporates two international standard ice rinks, one for short track speed skating, which will be used as a training venue during the Games, and another for curling.

Beijing vice-mayor and executive vice-president of the organising committee, Zhang Jiandong, said: “Despite the Covid-19 outbreak, we have been delivering a continuous effort without lowering standards.”

IOC president Thomas Bach has previously said Beijing 2022 might even benefit from the move of the Tokyo Olympics to next year. Bach said running the Tokyo and Beijing Olympics so close to each other could mean a raised profile for the events. Tokyo is to take place July 23 to August 8 next year. Beijing is to take place February 4-20, 2022.