Beijing 2022 built a bridge for mutual understandings

2022-February-20 14:23 By:

On February 15, Yan Jiarong, spokesperson of the Beijing Winter Olympics Organizing Committee attended a press conference held by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Beijing Organizing Committee for the 2022 Olympics and remarked “It is quite inspiring to witness warm hugs and bright smiles and to listen to encouraging words and sincere wishes among athletes during this event. The Beijing Winter Olympics has offered a stage for wonderful competitions and a bridge for better communication and understanding all over the world. And we believe that everyone can be an ‘angel of unity’ and a communicator of the Olympic spirit.” Coincidentally, this press conference was hosted on a traditional Chinese festival--the Yuanxiao Festival, also known as the Lantern Festival. Yan, therefore, said that with participants gathering in Beijing and enjoying this sporting event, the Beijing Olympics fully mirrored “Reunion”, a wish given to the Lantern Festival and “Together”, part of the Olympic spirit.

Yan stated that since the Lantern Festival is associated with reunion, Chinese people tend to stay with their family members and friends this day. And they will light lanterns, eat Yuanxiao (sweet dumplings made of glutinous rice flour), guess lantern riddles and enjoy firework displays. That’s their way to pray for good luck in the upcoming year. Additionally, as the name of the festival implied, lantern exhibitions were also held at many places in China.

“To help foreign journalists know the Lantern Festival well, some relevant activities, for example, guessing riddles and our traditional food--Yuanxiao are served at canteens of the Main Media Center (MMC),” Yan declared. “The Yanqing operation team is going to give handmade tiger pendants, intangible cultural heritage of this region to the Press Workroom. Besides, cultural exchanges among Chinese and foreign youths in the Wukesong Sports Center are also around the corner. Our Chinese volunteers will give presents to international volunteers. And we will have featured artistic performances at Yanqing Medals Plaza to show some more features of this festival.”

At the press conference, Yan also shared a heartwarming story with Chinese and foreign media. “Tessa Maud, a USA snowboarder, was moved to tears when she met the warm greetings from the volunteers at the opening ceremony. She shared her life and feelings during the Winter Olympics on social media. Many Chinese netizens were touched and left messages to welcome her to visit China again. Now she has many fans among Chinese netizens,” Yan said.

The Beijing Winter Olympics is an exceptionally rare global grand and festive event under the shadow of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Yan added, “We hope that more people will participate in the ice and snow sports and this event can propel more underdeveloped regions towards further development. With ice and snow sports as a tie, we can be united and inject more passion, happiness, confidence and strength into people all over the world who are troubled by the epidemic. Let ‘You and Me’ work ‘Together for a Shared Future’.”

Article contributed by Liu Xiyao,

Translated by Wang Wenyan and Duan Xuepei, Beijing Normal University

Editor: WXY
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