Games offers new drive to opening-up
Beijing and Zhangjiakou have won the bid to host the 2022 Winter Olympics. It’s great.
Seven years after Beijing hosted the 2008 Summer Games, Chinese people get to embrace the Olympics again. Many still remember the passion and joy after winning the 2008 Games. Our optimism and happiness has come alive again. Chinese society is still actively seeking to host major international sports events. Such sentiment fits the country’s rising momentum.
Countries in the developed world are no longer enthusiastic about holding the Olympics like they once were. They have their own calculations. But over 90 percent of people in Beijing and Zhangjiakou support their cities’ hosting of the Winter Games. Such high rates of support is generally true in other parts of the country in hosting major international sports events.
Chinese people long for progress and more contact with the outside world. Many people consider the hosting of major sports events an opportunity to enhance a city’s development level and help it become more international.
But there are also many who oppose hosting the Winter Games. Some of them are just following the voices of popular Western-style opponents. Others have their marginal reasons. But these opinions are not mainstream in China.
It is great that many stadiums and other pieces of infrastructure built for the 2008 Beijing Olympics can still be of use for the 2022 Games.
The 2008 Summer Games can be seen as a coming-out party for China. China has made significant progress in the seven years since it hosted the event. China’s GDP leapt from the third place globally to second. Chinese people have seen more of the world.
To be frank, when Beijing hosted the 2008 Summer Games, many Chinese people were nervous that they might mess up the event. That is why the 2008 Games emphasized pomp and ceremony in order to demonstrate China’s capabilities.
This time when we host the Winter Games, we may be able to be more relaxed, focusing on the beauty of the sports instead of laboring ourselves in ensuring a perfect event. We can try to make the 2022 Games a big party.
The 2022 Winter Games is also likely to bring concrete benefits in the coming seven years. “Olympic blue” may become a new target in dealing with air pollution. A high-speed railway between Beijing and Zhangjiakou is likely. Winter sports may become more popular.
The Winter Games will become a lasting drive for China’s further opening-up. Chinese society will seek greater balance between outside criticism and China’s own principles and traditions. This project will help China further integrate with the world. – Global Times