Beijing Winter Olympics pushing through: IOC

Despite an ongoing spike in coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases in many nations mainly due to the Covid-19 omicron variant, the Winter Olympics scheduled this year in Beijing will push through.

In an International Olympic Committee (IOC) meeting on Wednesday, President Thomas Bach announced that the Beijing Winter Olympics will still happen as scheduled from Feb. 4-20 in the Chinese capital.

With Covid-19 scientifically proven to be more prevalent in cold weather, stricter health and safety protocols will be implemented during the Winter Olympics.

One major aspect of the protocols is converging everyone involved in the games inside a bubble.

Game-related staff, volunteers, cleaners, cooks, and coach drivers have begun entering the bubble since Tuesday.

Meanwhile, some 3,000 athletes from all around the world will also enter the bubble in the coming days.

Fully vaccinated athletes, officials, and journalists will be given quick entry to the bubble, while the non-vaccinated ones will first undergo a three-week quarantine before they can enter assuming they remain safe from Covid-19.

The Philippines will be represented in the Winter Olympics by alpine skier Asa Miller.

Miller will be participating in the men’s slalom and the giant slalom events.

According to the Philippine Olympic Committee on Thursday, seven people will join him in Beijing, his coach, his trainer, chef de mission, Athletes Village administration officer, Covid-19 protocol officer, and a representative from the Philippine Ski and Snowboard Federation.

Preparation

On Tuesday, Chinese President Xi Jinping inspected the Games’ venues, urging organizers to continue to work hard in the final stages of their preparations to ensure the complete success of the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

Xi said a successful Beijing 2022 is China’s solemn commitment to the international community and after years of preparations, everything is ready.

“We are fully confident and capable of presenting to the world a fantastic, extraordinary and excellent Winter Olympics,” Xi said as quoted by Xinhua.

At the National Speed Skating Oval, known locally as the “Ice Ribbon”, Xi inspected the interior decoration and track and learned about the venue’s Games-time operation plan and event service preparations.

The National Speed Skating Oval is the only newly-built ice sports venue in the Beijing competition zone and will stage speed skating competitions during the Winter Olympics.

Xi lauded the National Speed Skating Oval as a good example of low-carbon operation and multi-purpose utilization which has followed the “green, inclusive, open and clean” approach.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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