BEIJING (Xinhua) - As China has fulfilled its commitment of engaging 300 million people in winter sports prior to the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach said the country’s efforts would “open a new era for winter sports globally.”
Bach made the remarks during an exclusive interview with Xinhua ahead of the official opening of Beijing 2022, adding that he is “very happy to read the official statistics.”
“This is sending so many signals, so many positive signals in different directions,” Bach said. “It is a great contribution to health and well-being for the Chinese people. If you’re more active physically, you’re more mentally and physically healthy.”
Besides a national legacy that the Games will leave for the Chinese people, the IOC chief said he believed Beijing 2022 would also create a legacy for the international community and the international Olympic Movement.
“They will bring worldwide participation in winter sports to new levels,” Bach noted. “And there is a great potential for everybody, for the International Federations to grow their sports, for the athletes to win more fans for themselves and for the sport.”
“This will open a new era for winter sports globally.”
“There will be a different winter sports world after these Games with this huge engagement of so many Chinese people,” Bach added. “I can only congratulate China and the Chinese people for having achieved and even over-achieved this very ambitious goal.”