The opinion article of Jian Tan, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to the Netherlands was first published in The Diplomat Magazine. For our readers, we are sharing the article published by The Diplomat Magazine here.
It was right on the Christmas day of 25th December last year that I arrived in the Netherlands. I believe, those of you residing in the Netherlands would not forget the heavy but beautiful snow of last winter. From time to time, I saw Dutch people, more often little children skating on the frozen canals and lakes, and I was quite impressed by their talents and skills of winter sports.
People often say that the Netherlands’ population size may be small, yet when it comes to speed skating, its strength is mighty. The Netherlands has a time-honored history of ice sports and has won numerous gold medals in the previous sessions of the Winter Olympic Games. As far as I know, many prominent Dutch athletes have already been qualified for the Beijing 2022 Games and started their training in Beijing. I would like to specially mention that in October, the “Experience Beijing” Speed Skating China Open kicked off at the “Ice Ribbon” in Beijing. It was the first testing competition and Dutch athlete ranked top among all the competitors.
A few days earlier, the lighting of the Olympic flame for the Beijing Winter Olympics in Olympia has signaled to the world that it is officially entering Winter Olympics time. And today, we are celebrating the 100th Day Countdown to the Beijing 2022 Games. From 4 to 20 February 2022, the 24th Winter Olympic Games will be held in Beijing, who will be the first city in history to host both the Summer Olympics and the Winter Olympics. Guided by the principles of green, inclusive, open and clean, China has carried out all preparatory work with high standards and high quality. I would like to elaborate with three Ss to draw a clearer picture of Beijing 2022 Games.
The first S stands for simple, we have made full use of the existing conditions and resources, simplify the scale, and highlight the features of green and clean. The Beijing Organizing Committee has carried out the Sustainability Plan with the top priority on ecological preservation, resources conservation and environment protection. Beijing 2022 Games will be the first Games in history at which all venues are powered by green and renewable energy. Moreover, for the purpose of sustainability and frugality, all venues will be converted to sports centers that can be used by all citizens. In addition, China will combat corruption and uphold integrity in hosting the Olympic Games, tighten oversight of the preparations and adopt zero tolerance for doping so that the Beijing Winter Olympic Games will be “as clean and pure as ice and snow”.
The second S stands for safe, we have made great efforts to deliver a safe game and promote the spirit of positive health in the very time of Covid-19 pandemic. We will keep track of the evolving COVID-19 situation at home and abroad and learn from the prevention and control practices of Tokyo 2020, continuously improve the control measures so as to insure the safety of every athlete and spectator. In the broader picture, sport has long been recognized as a major contributor to positive health and well-being for participants. By upholding the spirit of Faster, Higher, Stronger – Together, it inspires people to tap into and show the best of themselves. We hope that Beijing 2022 Games could encourage more people to participate in winter sports, thus improve physical well-being of the public and inject strong impetus in the combat against Covid-19.
The third S stands for splendid, the Beijing 2022 Games will be a grand gathering for countries and a fair stage for athletes from all over the world to compete. The goal of the Olympic movement is to contribute to building a peaceful and better world by educating youth through sport practiced without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play. And this very goal echoes with the mission of openness and inclusiveness of the Beijing 2022 Games. Athletes from all countries will feel welcome here in China, where they can show the splendor of winter sports on ice and snow. China is well-prepared and fully confident to bring another pleasant surprise to the whole world.
Sport is a universal language. At its best it can bring people together, regardless of their origin, background, religious beliefs or economic status. In particular, when the whole world is suffering from COVID-19 pandemic, climate change and terrorism, it comes as the “Noah’s Ark” that carries the common aspirations for a better and more harmonious world. To host Winter Olympic Games at this very moment is a vivid manifestation of building a community of shared future for mankind. China is ready to work with the rest of the international community to oppose the politicization of sports, demonstrate the new Olympic spirit of being “together”, render each other help and assistance in times of need. With joint efforts and support from the international society, we will overcome all difficulties and deliver a simple, safe and splendid Games.
China and the Netherlands have good cooperation in the field of sports, and frequent exchanges have been carried out in recent years. The year 2022 will mark the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between our two countries. I sincerely hope we can further expand and deepen cooperation in all areas, and in particular, sports. I believe Beijing 2022 Games will provide a great opportunity in this regard. In the Tokyo Olympics that ended this summer, the Netherlands won 36 medals in total, placed seventh in the overall ranking and topped EU countries, a really remarkable achievements. I’m looking forward to the excellent performance by the Dutch athletes in Beijing Winter Olympics and sincerely wish them get good records in advance. Marching towards 2022, together let’s go for a shared future.