The International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach has sent out invitations for the Beijing 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games to National Olympic Committees (NOCs) worldwide as the Games welcomed its one-year countdown here on Thursday evening.
"One year from now, Beijing will write history as the first city ever to host both the summer and winter editions of the Olympic Games. The Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 will be a great moment to bring the world together in a spirit of peace, solidarity and friendship," the IOC chief said via a video link at the ceremony held at the 2008 venue, the National Aquatics Center.
Hailing that the Beijing 2022 Games "are bringing to life China's vision to engage 300 million people with winter sports," which will "transform the global scene for winter sports," Bach sent out invitations to the world to "see this passion next year when China welcomes the best winter sport athletes."
The invitations were first sent to the Hellenic Olympic Committee, and then to representatives of the next hosts of the Olympic Games and all five continents, namely Japan, France, Italy, the United States, Australia, Nigeria and host China, all of which were accepted by representatives for the NOCs in their respective official languages.
Citing China's progress in overcoming the coronavirus crisis and the Chinese people's enthusiasm and support for the Games, Bach expressed confidence in a successful Beijing 2022.
"This is why, we can say already now with great confidence: China is ready. Ready to welcome the world's best winter sports athletes for unforgettable Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022," he said, before sending out the welcoming message of "see you in Beijing in 2022" in both English and Chinese.
The Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games will take place from February 4 to 20 and the Paralympic Winter Games from March 4 to 13.