By Andrzej Kraśnicki
The Beijing 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games will soon take place. I am delighted to be traveling to Beijing again to attend the big quadrennial event, and I am fully convinced that Beijing will offer an excellent services for all participating athletes and bring wonderful Olympic Winter Games to the world.
The upcoming 2022 Winter Olympics will mark Beijing’s second time hosting the Olympics after the 2008 Summer Olympics. This also goes make Beijing a city that has hosted both the Summer and Winter Olympics.
In 2008, I participated in the Beijing Olympics as the President of the Polish Handball Association and was deeply impressed by Beijing’s preparations for the event in all its aspects and the hospitality of the people Chinese.
This year, I will lead 55 Polish athletes to the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics. We have participated in the Beijing 2022 Games test events in the Yanqing Games competition area, and have full confidence in the preparatory work for the Olympic Games. Winter Games of 2022. We believe that Beijing 2022 will be a sporting event that will satisfy athletes from all over the world. It will show all the people of the world how China hosts the biggest sporting event in the world.
Ice and snow sports are very popular among Poles. However, due to limitations such as location and climate, there is still a long way to go for winter sports to become popular all over the world.
A leading sporting nation relies on robust grassroots sports. The 2022 Beijing Games will definitely further consolidate the foundation of winter sports in China and motivate more people to practice ice and snow sports.
We have noticed that as China unlocks the potential of its ice and snow sports industry, more and more outstanding Chinese athletes have participated in the Winter Olympics, which will usher in great progress in the development of winter sports in China.
The COVID-19 pandemic has posed some challenges to the organization of Beijing 2022 and the participation of athletes. We are currently conducting training and testing for our athletes and coaches in strict accordance with the requirements of the Beijing 2022 Playbook which outlines COVID-19 countermeasures for the Games.
We will do our best to ensure the safety of our athletes during the Winter Olympics as well as their safe return to our country after the event.
China has achieved remarkable results in the fight against the pandemic, so we are confident of its epidemic prevention and control measures during the Games.
The Olympic Games are a great event for athletes around the world, as well as a platform to demonstrate human solidarity and friendship. We oppose the politicization of sport and hope that all athletes who have been preparing for Beijing 2022 for years will be able to participate in the event. I don’t think the noises made by a handful of people can affect the smooth running of the 2022 Winter Olympics.
The world has gone through many changes since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, but people’s enthusiasm for sports remains intact. The spirit of struggle and solidarity as well as the spirit of enterprise conveyed by sport are precisely the precious spiritual wealth that humanity needs the most in the face of challenges.
The successful holding of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics will inspire people around the world to overcome the challenges posed by the pandemic and together create a better world after COVID-19.
Since the opening of Beijing 2022 will coincide with the Spring Festival holiday in China, I would like to extend New Year’s greetings to the Chinese people through People’s Daily.
I wish great success at the Beijing 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games and good luck to all the athletes who will participate.
(The author is the President of the Polish National Olympic Committee.)