30-day countdown celebrated as final touches are made to venues, schedule
A girl plays with the mascots of the 19th Asian Games on Thursday in Yanweizhou Park, Jinhua, a co-host city of the event in Zhejiang province. HU XIAOFEI/FOR CHINA DAILY
Hangzhou is fully prepared to host the upcoming 19th Asian Games, and it is sure to impress all the athletes and participants, and leave a legacy of a smart and green event, organizers said while celebrating the 30-day countdown to the opening ceremony on Thursday.
Organizers are now focusing on venue readiness, management and operations during the Games. Zhejiang's capital, Hangzhou, together with five other co-host cities, is making solid progress to honor its promise of having a green, smart, economical and ethical Asian Games in 2023, organizers said at a news briefing.
Chen Weiqiang, executive secretary-general of the Games' organizing committee and vice-mayor of Hangzhou, said: "Our volunteers are ready, and tickets for the event, which went on sale on July 8, are selling well both online and offline.
"There will be several rehearsals for the opening and closing ceremonies in September, and we are ready to receive athletes and guests from around the world after eight years of preparation."
Work to prepare all 56 competition venues and 31 training venues, newly built or renovated, has been finished. The Asian Games Village, five Asian Games sub-villages and three reception hotels for athletes are ready to provide comfortable accommodation for athletes, technical staff and media during the Games, the Hangzhou Asian Games Organizing Committee said on Thursday, with 30 days to go before the opening ceremony on Sept 23.
With the Games approaching, organizers have been working closely with other departments to provide arrival and departure, transportation, food and medical services. For example, 41 hospitals and 130 clinics have been set up at the venues.
A total of 12,417 athletes will compete at the Games supported by 4,975 team officials, said Zhu Qinan, director of the competition department of the HAGOC.
The HAGOC will take advantage of its resources and work closely with different departments to make final preparations for hosting the Games, Zhu added.
The torch relay for the Games will start in the main host city Hangzhou on Sept 8. The torch will then be carried through cities across the province until Sept 20.
The final schedule will be announced at the end of this month. The first gold medal day will be Sept 24. Some competitions, like soccer, volleyball and cricket will start before the opening ceremony, the organizers said.
While preparing for the Games, the organizing committee made efforts toward the implementation of China's dual carbon goal, which is to peak carbon dioxide emissions before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060.
Hangzhou will keep promoting green production methods and lifestyles, said Ma Liyang, director of the environmental protection department of the HAGOC.
"Athletes are encouraged to choose green transportation, live a water and electricity-saving lifestyle, and be mindful of garbage sorting. They can even open low-carbon accounts in the Asian Games Village and accumulate green low-carbon points in exchange for green products," Ma said.
The organizers also unveiled the elements of the victory ceremonies — bouquets, trays and podiums — on Thursday.
The victory ceremony bouquet, named "Fruits of Triumph", blends traditional Chinese elements such as rice ears and lotus pods, signifying fruitful harvests, and wishes the athletes a journey of achievement and honor, the organizers said.
The medal tray's design is inspired by the ripples of the West Lake and portrays the elegant contour of lakes and hills.
The podium sports a purple rainbow on its exterior, radiating vitality and innovation. Its surface, painted in white, embodies the spirit of unity, harmony and mutual success among Asian nations and regions, the organizers said.