Brussels (People's Daily) – "My message primarily is that the Beijing Games I believe will be a wonderful winter Olympic Games," Anthony Edgar, former head of media operations for the International Olympic Committee (IOC), told People's Daily in an exclusive interview on February 3, ahead of the one-year countdown to the 2022 Winter Olympic Games.
Edgar, who visited proposed venues for the Games in Zhangjiakou, Hebei province, and in Beijing, said he was deeply impressed with the legacies of the 2008 Summer Olympics with sustainable development.
The China National Aquatics Center, better known as the "Water Cube," hosted aquatic events at the 2008 Summer Olympics. The "Water Cube" has been turned into "Ice Cube" for the upcoming 2022 Winter Olympics, as the stadium will host the curling and wheelchair curling events.
Beijing's National Stadium, known around the world as the "Bird's Nest," where the inauguration of the 2008 Olympic Games was held, will host the opening and closing ceremonies of the Winter Olympics in 2022.
"As the city that once hosted the Summer Olympics, Beijing has tried to reuse existing venues and made full use of the legacy," said Edgar. "Sustainability strategy in preparation for the winter sports extravaganza in China marks an important milestone in holding green Olympic Games."
He also praised the preparation for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games. "Beijing has done an amazing job at very difficult circumstances to keep preparations going smoothly, in terms of both infrastructure construction and operations despite the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic."
"In my opinion, China is ready to host a successful Winter Olympics. So far, most of the venues are ready, and only the final stage of technical and safety testing is required," he said. "I have great expectations for the Beijing 2022 Olympic Games."
Edgar announced his retirement in January 2020. Following the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, which he covered as a journalist/photographer for a sports magazine, Edgar was offered the opportunity to join the Sydney 2000 sports department, responsible for sports content and publications for the Olympics and Paralympics.
In 2001, the International Volleyball Federation invited Edgar to join them as press chief, which brought him to Switzerland from his hometown in Australia. Two years later, he was offered the position of IOC head of media operations for the Olympics.
(Video edited by Song Siqi)