Gao Yunchao: Inheriting Olympic legacy is to share the achievements of Olympics


The Olympic City Development Forum, part of the World Winter Sports (Beijing) Expo 2020 (WWSE 2020), was held at China National Convention Center, Beijing on September 6, 2020. Gao Yunchao, deputy secretary general of Beijing Olympic City Development Association (BODA), shared BODA’s experience at the event in promoting the inheritance of the Olympic legacy.

“How to inherit the Olympic legacy is an eternal subject for both the Olympic movement and the host cities. Under new circumstances, there could be new opportunities for the inheritance of the legacy, and we should seize them to pursue new development,” Gao said.

Carrying forward Olympic legacy through BISFW

In his speech, Gao cited the example of the Beijing International Sports Film Week (BISFW), a program that was created in 2005 and organized by BODA since 2009 for carrying forward the Olympic legacy. 

The previous 16 editions of the BISFW encompassed film and television works, exhibitions, salon sessions and other international exchanges focusing on sports-related culture.

Third-party research in 2019 commissioned by BODA suggested that, from 2010 to 2018, the BISFW played a notable role in carrying forward the Olympic culture, driving cultural development in the host cities, facilitating international communication on sports and related culture, and inspiring creation of film and TV works about sports. The evaluation of the program’s planning, organization, benefits and sustainability showed that the previous sessions pulled off great successes and good social benefits.

According to Gao, the Covid-19 outbreak and precautions posed a series of challenges for the 2020 BISFW, forcing the cancellation of a number of its components including the opening and closing ceremonies and the salon session on sports-themed film and TV works.

Gao said the new circumstances had led to increasing public demand for physical exercise and rising awareness of sports’ role in improving health, and therefore the 2020 BISFW was designed to highlight sports’ functions as well as ice and snow sports. He revealed that the program received 158 inspirational film and TV works on sportsmanship, including 21 on the Winter Olympics.

After deliberations by the jury panel, 58 works gained the entry to the online exhibition, and 10 of them advanced to the Sport Movies & TV - Milano International FICTS Fest, the final of “World FICTS Challenge”.

The 2020 BISFW showed the works online, and the participation of a number of renowned Chinese video websites enabled efficient resource integration and innovative project operation. Statistics show that about 1.5 million people watched the works and related events online, much more than expected. 

The Olympic legacy is universal and owned by all citizens

Gao said the mission of BODA is to inherit and pass on the Olympic legacy as well as promote city development.

“Our main task is to carry forward the Olympic legacy by running various public-benefit sport culture projects. The innovations of the BISFW under the new circumstances have shown us new opportunities and direction for inheriting the Olympic legacy.

“Based on our experience in inheriting the Olympic legacy, we believe that the Olympic legacy is universal, and owned by all citizens. Inheriting and passing on the Olympic legacy is to enable all citizens to share the achievements of the Olympics,” Gao added.

“Inheriting the Olympic legacy involves all aspects, including foreign affairs, sports, culture, education, publicity and environmental protection. It relates to the work of government departments and complements each other.

“It should be done through an open working mechanism so that it can gain strong support from government departments and national (regional) Olympic committees. Communication and cooperation with international sports organizations such as the IOC can provide abundant resources for inheriting the Olympic legacy. Mass fitness activities should be made accessible to as many participants as possible, while Olympic education activities should be able to pique juveniles’ interest in sports.”

Gao said BODA hopes to promote inheritance of the Olympic legacy relying on efficient utilization of various resources through win-win cooperation with domestic and overseas partners, instead of relying on only itself. 

He also underlined the importance of innovative concepts and far-sighted project planning for inheriting the Olympic legacy.

“It is a dynamic and ever-improving process. The Olympic legacy should be inherited based on timely analysis of the changes of the times and adjustments according to the changes.”



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