China's Hangzhou ready to pass on energy of Asia in 2022

2018-09-03 09:28:43Xinhua Editor : Gu Liping ECNS App Download
Special: Asian Games 2018

The 18th Asian Games in Indonesia's Jakarta may be coming to an end, but preparatory work for the next installment are already in full swing.

China's ancient city of Hangzhou, famous for its scenic lake and temples, will host the 2022 Asian Games.

The city is the third Chinese host of the continent's showpiece event after Beijing in 1990 and Guangzhou in 2010.

The Hangzhou Asian Games Organising Committee (HAGOC) has promised an event of the "highest possible standards" and now HAGOC is gearing up towards the goal.

"We are convinced that with the support and guidance from the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), and through the experiences of host cities of major sports Games in Asia, we can hold a successful Asian Games. HAGOC will stay focused and spare no effort in preparations," said Xu Jianfeng, deputy director of international relations of HAGOC, at the 37th OCA General Assembly held in Jakarta.

According to the HAGOC's progress report presented to the OCA General Assembly, the Hangzhou Asian Games have now confirmed 34 sports, of which Olympic sports will be set in line with the sports program of the Paris Olympic Games in 2024, and non-Olympic sports will be set in light of Asian traditions and the particular venue conditions.

HAGOC has decided on 52 venues to be used for the Games, and developed standards for the construction of venues and facilities.

Dubbed the "Giant Lotus" by locals, the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Center, which is nearly finished, can seat 80,000 audience and will be the main venue for the Games. It's the third biggest stadium of the country after Beijing's Bird's Nest stadium and Guangzhou's Olympic Center.

For most of the venues and facilities, HAGOC said one of the considerations for the design and constructions will be their function during and after the Games are over, just like the Beijing Summer Games did ten years ago.

There are plans for the athletes' village, which is set to accommodate more than 10,000 athletes in 2022, to be turned into a library, museum and even youth center after the Games.

HAGOC also launched the emblem for the 2022 Asian Games last month. Called the "Surging Tides", the emblem already became popular in China and was highly praised by OCA.

OCA President Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah fully believes that the next Asian Games in Hangzhou will be a success and "Hangzhou will start the era of smart Games".

"I have a promise by the city, smart Games will start in Hangzhou," said Sheikh Ahmad. "We start the professional Games in Bangkok in 1998. I think the smart Games will start from Hangzhou 2022."

According to the OCA President, it's a challenge for both Hangzhou and OCA to host a smart Games, as he said that "big challenge is not the organization, not the preparation, not the facilities, but the scheme of smart Games."

However, the President said that on back of the support from large enterprises based in Hangzhou, spearheaded by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, the city has what it takes to stage a "top-quality and smart" Games.

In order to ensure smooth preparations for the Games, Hangzhou will speed up the construction of supporting infrastructure in the city, including ten new metro lines, and continue to improve its ecological environment, said Xu, adding that the Games can also serve as an opportunity to speed up development in the rapidly growing city.

HAGOC has a delegation of nearly 260 people for learning and observation purposes. Indonesia has done a good job in preparing the Games in such a short period, and the Games ran smoothly in the past two weeks.

"The 18th Asian Games have been very well prepared, which impressed us a lot. The opening ceremony is spectacular and the Games' atmosphere is crazy. We can feel the passion everywhere," said Chen Guomei, a top official with HAGOC and vice mayor of Hangzhou as well.

Hangzhou hopes to learn from the opening and closing ceremonies, sports operation, athletes' village management, broadcast and IT, media services, marketing and Games services, Chen added.

When the flag handover ceremony was held and the 8-minute "Hangzhou Time" cultural performance was delivered at the closing ceremony on Sunday, the energy of Asia has already been passed on to Hangzhou and the message of welcome was conveyed.

"We assure you it will meet the highest possible standards in staging a special edition of the Asian Games with Chinese grandeur, Asian style and a Hangzhou flavor," Xu said.

"The Hangzhou Asian Games will be fabulous, successful and inspiring," he added.

China will also host the Winter Olympics in 2022 and these two multi-sport events are just several months apart.

These two events will put China in the international sporting limelight again after hosting the Summer Olympics 10 years ago, and also boost Hangzhou's profile.


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