Beijing will be an exemplary host city of the forthcoming 2022 Olympic Winter Games, said Mayor of Athens Kostas Bakoyannis, also sending his warm wishes to China.
"I'm certain that Beijing will be an exemplary host city of the Olympic Winter Games. And of course, I look forward to enjoying all that it has to offer, knowing full well that this sportsmanship, fair play and solidarity on display will uplift and inspire all of us," the Greek official said in a video message to organizers.
Beijing will host the Winter Olympics from February 4 to 20, to be followed by the Paralympics. It will become the first city ever to host both Summer and Winter Olympics.
This achievement has a special meaning for Athens and Greece, Bakoyannis said. Beijing is a sister city of the Greek capital and its feat is a true testament to the city's commitment to the values of Olympism, he explained, congratulating the Chinese capital.
Moreover, there is a profound bond between the two countries and civilizations, he added. China and Greece have coexisted for millennia, and although they are not geographically close, they share a long and deep devotion to preserving the values and wisdom of their ancestors, the mayor stressed.
"I also want to send to everyone celebrating the Spring Festival our warmest wishes for a Happy New Year. May the year of the Tiger provide us with the strength to face challenges along the way, bring us prosperity and happiness. May we all enjoy a year of peace and good health," he concluded.