Ceremony held in Beijing to mark start of one-year countdown to the opening of 2022 Winter Olympics


A ceremony to mark the start of the one-year countdown to the opening of the 2022 Winter Olympics was held at Beijing’s National Aquatics Centre on February 4, 2021. The torch for the Winter Olympics, named “Flying”, made its debut, and the second list of outstanding music works created for the event was unveiled.

Cai Qi, secretary of the CPC Beijing Committee and president of the Beijing Organising Committee for the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, delivered a speech at the event, and Thomas Bach, president of International Olympic Committee (IOC), gave a speech via a video.


The 2022 Winter Olympics torch makes its debut at the ceremony.

Cai expressed appreciation for the support of various parties for the 2022 Winter Olympics preparations, saying that the Chinese government has deemed the Winter Olympics an event of national significance.

“Chinese President Xi Jinping pays close attention to the event, and has given a series of instructions on preparations for it. We are adhering to the concept of ‘hosting a green, inclusive, open and clean Winter Olympics’ and the Olympic Agenda 2020 to work alongside the IOC to promote preparations for the event while ensuring effective Covid-19 prevention. So far, remarkable achievements have been made. All the competition venues have been completed, and the preparations for the event and services are making steady progress. Various publicity and cultural activities have been held, and international exchanges and cooperation have been enhanced. Notable outcomes have been achieved in the work related to the Olympic sustainability and legacy. Ice and snow sports have seen increasing popularity among the public, as more and more people have been enticed into ice rinks and ski resorts to enjoy the joy of such sports. In summary, the preparations are going on as scheduled.”

Cai said the Covid-19 pandemic has severely impacted life around the world but will not be a hindrance for the 2022 Winter Olympics.

“One year from now, Beijing will write history as the first city ever to host both the summer and winter editions of the Olympic Games. These Games will connect the Chinese people with the world. Having seen how China is overcoming the coronavirus crisis, we are very confident that our Chinese hosts will ensure a safe and secure Olympic Games in full cooperation with the IOC,” Bach said in the video.

Bach gave the thumps-up to China’s vision of promoting winter sports to 300 million people, and said: “Every time I have visited China, I am so impressed by the enthusiasm and support for the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022. This is why we can already say now with great confidence: China is ready. Ready to welcome the world’s best winter sports athletes for an unforgettable Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022. We all are looking forward to this global celebration of sport.”

On the same day, Bach formally invited the National Olympic Committees (NOCs) around the world and their winter sports athletes to participate in the 2022 Winter Olympics.

“I will sign the invitations on the table of Olympic Games founder Pierre de Coubertin at Lausanne, Switzerland, the home of the Olympic Movement,” he said in the video.

The IOC President symbolically signed and sent invitations to eight NOCs, including the Chinese Olympic Committee. Bach sent his last invitation to the Chinese Olympic Committee, and said that he expects to meet with all the athletes and friends from the NOCs at the opening ceremony of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.


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