Feature: Beijing Winter Olympics raises global expectations for a shared future

2022-January-28 11:08 By: Xinhua

LONDON, Jan. 26 (Xinhua) -- When primary school pupils in Britain cheered "Let's go" in Mandarin and chanted "Meet Me in Beijing" merrily, their eyes shined brightly.

These children, living more than 7,000km away from China, sent their best wishes to the upcoming 2022 Olympic Winter Games just as many people did from all over the world.

Elliot Frennstedt wished a successful Games in Beijing. The Swedish citizen said he was looking forward to watching the competitions, especially cross-country skiing.

"My family and I usually organise annual trips to go skiing, like a lot of Swedish people. And obviously Sweden is one of the countries at the forefront of winter sports," he said.

Sweden has participated in every Olympic Winter Games since the first edition held in Chamonix, France in 1924. The Nordic country has been extremely successful in cross-country skiing, as 31 out of their total 60 Winter Games gold medals have come from the sport.

Although Namibia in southwest Africa has never competed at the Olympic Winter Games, Heiko Fleidl from its capital Windhoek wished all the best to the athletes.

"They must enjoy the sport. They must enjoy China. They must do it for the love of the sport," said the 37-year-old engineer.

14 years after staging the 2008 Olympic Summer Games with the motto of "One World, One Dream," Beijing will host the Winter Olympic Games in 2022, hoping that global citizens can unite together for a shared future.

In just a few days time, nearly 3,000 athletes from around 90 countries and regions will compete in the world's first dual Olympic city.

There will be definitely thrills and regrets, laughter and tears, but undoubtedly, every participant will bring home a special memory as the shop window for winter sports will go on as promised while the COVID-19 pandemic is still raging.

Viktor Hald Thorup has been dreaming of competing in Beijing since he watched the 2008 Summer Games on TV.

"Cool, my dream comes true, and I'm not only going there to compete, but also to compete at the Olympics," said the 27-year-old Danish speed skater.

The two-time Olympian believed that China has been working hard to minimise the risk caused by COVID-19 and he was confident that the Games would go on smoothly.

Since the beginning of this month, Beijing 2022 has started to operate a closed loop system to combat the spread of COVID-19.

Olympic debutant Marcus Wyatt, who collected a silver in the men's skeleton in the test event last October, didn't think that the restrictions and frequent testing during the Games would make the competitions tougher.

"Like everyone else, we've got used to COVID the last two years. It's probably not ideal that we have had two seasons competing under COVID restrictions, so it's no different really how we are doing," the Briton said.

"If COVID were to go tomorrow, that would be brilliant. But it's not going to happen. So the fact that we are in the Olympic Games, that's the main part. I'm just happy it's going ahead."

As one of the many sports officials who is going to attend the Games, Andrzej Krasnickithe, president of the Polish Olympic Committee, is fully convinced that China has been well-prepared for the Winter Games.

"For sure it would be fantastic if fans of all countries could participate in the Games, but safety and health are the most important," said Krasnickithe.

Clifton Grima, Minister of the Ministry for Education and Sport of Malta, was sure that Beijing 2022 will leave a lasting memory for every participant.

"I'm sure that it will be an experience to cherish for all the athletes participating, all the Olympic committees participating. It will be a feast of sport," said Grima.

Editor: WXY
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