2022 Winter Olympics

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In just over 12 months time, and assuming all goes according to plan, China will be hosting the Beijing 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. This raises all kinds of questions about security and safety which won’t be lost on the world’s athletes, fans and media who are, presumably, preparing for a trip to Beijing in February 2022 (the Winter Games are scheduled from 4th to 20th February 2022).

By hosting the 2022 Winter Olympics, Beijing will become the first city to host both the Summer and Winter Games and, knowing China’s ability to plan and stage major events like this, it will be an opportunity for President Xi to win back friends from around the world and promote winter sports to China’s domestic audience (it is expected that around 300 million Chinese people will take up skiing and other winter sports at China’s new world class Olympic facilities).

According to CGTN, “the Winter Olympic Village – with a total of 25 competition and non-competition venues – is expected to be completed by June” and was recently inspected by President Xi who called for “replanning and readjusting all work in accordance with new circumstances while focusing on both epidemic prevention and control”.

We’re going to be reading a lot more about next year’s Winter Olympics in the months ahead as the world’s media prepares to visit China again for a major sporting event. The politics, atmospherics and circumstances couldn’t be more different than existed at the time of the Beijing Summer Olympics of 2008, and the significance and timing of next year’s event won’t be lost on the Chinese. You can be certain that they will be planning a campaign to win back the hearts and minds of local and foreign audiences on the ski slopes of Beijing and Zhangjiakou.

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