On February 4, the Olympic flame will be lit for a second time in Beijing.

Since Beijing won the bid in 2015 to host the 2022 Winter Olympics and established its organizing committee, President Xi Jinping has inspected the preparation work five times. Now the entire preparatory team is forging ahead with concrete steps to turn the beautiful Olympic blueprint into reality.

I am pleased to note that a "winter Olympic fever" is already here in Bulgaria following the media briefing hosted by the Embassy not long ago in conjunction with the Bulgarian Olympic Committee and the Beijing Organizing Committee for the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. People from different walks of life have expressed their warm expectations and support for Beijing 2022, including Ms. Stefka Kostadinova, President of the Bulgarian Olympic Committee(BOC), and Ms. Ekaterina Dafovska, member of BOC Executive Council. In his New Year message, President Thomas Bach of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) also expressed full confidence in a safe and successful Winter Olympic Games in Beijing.

At this moment, the preparations for the Games are in full and final swing, counting down in seconds. How is the "Green Olympics" concept being implemented in the whole process of preparations? What sustainable results have been achieved? Will the Games be held as scheduled in the face of the threat from Omicron variant of Covid? Well, let me answer these questions from the perspectives of green Olympics, sustainability and pandemic prevention.

Green: the distinctive color of Beijing 2022. Multiple measures, such as low-carbon venues, low-carbon energy and low-carbon transportation, have been adopted to cut carbon emissions in preparing for and hosting the events, which will ensure the ambitious goal of neutralizing all the carbon emissions generated during Beijing 2022. All competition venues will be powered by green electricity. It is estimated that the venues in Beijing, Yanqing and Zhangjiakou competition zones are expected to consume 400 million kWh of green electricity, which means 128,000 tons of standard coal will be saved and carbon dioxide emissions will be reduced by 320,000 tons. 

In addition, Beijing pays great attention to the principles of low-carbon and energy-efficiency in constructing the Winter Olympic Village. All the residential buildings have been certified as three-star green buildings, providing not only a healthy and comfortable living environment for athletes from all over the world but also a model for the development of the construction industry. 

Sustainability: creating a wonderful future after Beijing2022. Sustainable development is China’s national strategy, as well as one of the three themes of "Olympic Agenda 2020". Beijing 2022 has made the most out of the venue legacies from Beijing 2008. The National Aquatics Center, also known as the "Water Cube" will become the "Ice Cube" for curling and wheelchair curling competitions. The Wukesong (five pine trees) Sports Center will be renovated into an "Ice Flower" for ice hockey competitions during the Winter Olympics. The preparations of the Games have been closely integrated with the development of local cities and regions, with plans for post-Games use of venues at all competition zones. All these are aimed at bringing long-term benefits to local residents and pushing "cold ice and snow" into "hot sports".

Prevention: the key to keep Beijing 2022 safe and secure. Despite the negative impacts of the cold weather and the Omicron variant, China is persistent in putting the health and safety of athletes and participants on top of the agenda. We will carry out science-based and targeted measures to fend off the epidemic as much as possible. Recently, the second edition of the Beijing 2022 Playbooks was released jointly by IOC, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and the Beijing Winter Olympic Organizing Committee. The Playbooks will provide epidemic prevention guidelines for all participants at the Beijing Winter Olympics and Paralympics. According to Dr. Michael Ryan, Executive Director of the WHO Health Emergencies Program, "WHO doesn’t perceive that there’s any particular extra risk in hosting or running the games", "given the arrangements that have been put in place before the athletes by the organizers".

Therefore I am confident that Beijing, the city of dual Olympics, will present to the world a streamlined, safe and splendid Games. We look forward to wonderful performances by Chinese and Bulgarian athletes. Let us all join hands under the banner of the Olympic spirit and get "together for a shared future"!

H. E. Mr. Dong Xiaojun,

Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the People’s Republic of China to the Republic of Bulgaria


The photo was provided by the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China to the Republic of Bulgaria. On it: H. E. Mr. Dong Xiaojun