Beijing 2022 preparations ‘on track & going well’, says IOC chief

As September 21 marks the 500-day countdown of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games, International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach has said that preparations for Beijing 2022 are “on track and going well”.

“We heard a very encouraging technical report from the Coordination Commission who informed us the technical preparations are on track and going very well,” the IOC president said in a video conference after the IOC Executive Board meeting on Wednesday, reports Xinhua news agency.

At the EB meeting, Beijing 2022 Coordination Commission chair Juan Antonio Samaranch noted advances in venue construction, development of the local Organising Committee staff, and new sponsors and suppliers, as further evidence of Beijing 2022’s progress.

In regard to the COVID-19 pandemic, Samaranch reported that Beijing 2022 has been in direct contact with the relevant international federations, developing plans for different scenarios at a number of official test events this coming winter based on the latest COVID-19 situation.

Bach also said the progress in rapid testing and development of a vaccine could be “greatly influential”.

“We have also made contact with COC to benefit from the expertise of the developers of Chinese pharmaceutical companies to see and learn about the progress there. These will of course not only influence hopefully the preparations for Tokyo, but also for Beijing,” Bach added.

For the Tokyo Olympic Games, Bach repeated that the local organisers and the IOC are preparing for multiple scenarios for the Games next year, but it was not time to specify the plan.

“It’s just too early to give a concrete answer what will be the final scenario,” Bach said, “The only thing we can say is it will be about offering a safe environment for all participants.”