Beijing 2022 is about sports, anyway


Editor’s Note: Paul Dong is co-founder of Ei Asia Limited. The article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of the CGTN.

It doesn’t make much sense yet to hit non-fungible tokens (NFTs) of augmented snowboard flip or toboggan times during the Beijing Games. It remains such a real event that potential entrants, vying for the remaining qualifying spots in the next two weeks, can’t help but imagine what it would be like on the pitch.

From booking a charter flight to downloading medical accreditation apps and two COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests before landing at Beijing Capital International Airport, every effort is made. for business as usual – getting down to the same track, slope or half-pipe as a routine place elsewhere, but for the incomparable highlights of a lifetime. Sports, more than anything, bring them together and unite them, for an ever-growing cohort of Olympians.

Yes, it’s all about sport, not the other way around. Beijing 2022, set to be the first major event in two years to start on time as originally planned, is pledged to continue the modern centennial Olympic tradition with the main flame illuminating the cauldron, all the rules and criteria governing each of the 109 Medalist events in 15 disciplines from seven major sports, absolutely implemented and honored. Any “black” technology, improved or in its first application, plays a supporting role for every Olympic standard set, in competition and out of competition – no non-sporting gig to steal the show.

So after marveling at the dogged efforts and fantastic innovation that China has put into the preparations, from sustainability principles to cutting edge virtual deliveries of all live events, the athletes, their coaches, the referees of game, officials, media accredited, spectators on site (outside the “bubble” but able to specify) and all volunteers will return to the real job – the winter sports competitions. Most of the events to be recorded and remembered will have to result from the Olympic Games as such.

Without many overseas viewers cheering in the stands, potential Chinese fans should not waste time catching up on the basics of the sports they plan to purchase tickets for and making the noises the athletes hope to hear – applause preferred to shouting by organizers, however – citing concerns over COVID-19. Of course, there is a fast emerging population of Chinese skaters, skiers and curlers at the local level, but an informed audience instead of an international gallery of veteran spectators takes more work to qualify. Hurry, there are quite a few resources online, mostly in English.

Lost in the translation? Inevitable everywhere, every time. I experienced this in 2008 when high school kids mistakenly checked off “DJ” instead of “commentator” for roles they intended to fill on the beach volleyball site. This forced me, their coach, to work several shifts as the young students were turned down by the International Olympic Committee because only one DJ was needed and the Austrian veteran “Mike” won outright.

A lot of sporting jargon and quirks will be circulating during Beijing 2022, which makes perfect sense, and the Games are nothing more than a four-year finale of community races, annual championships, seasonal festivals and Cups. world culminating in the zenith.

So while doing their best to learn, observe and practice, local staff are likely to play a leading role in these highly professional competitions. But their smiles, their gestures and their immediate availability to help will always be enough to impress the real owners, maestros and dramatis personae of the Games. Most importantly, our own experience throughout Beijing 2022 will serve as a reliable foundation from which the country’s winter sports industry will take off and thrive for many years to come.

Wait a minute? I don’t mean to say that local surnames are off the headings list. PyeongChang 2018 hero Wu Dajing is pushing nationally to repeat his short track speed skating success at home. Eileen Gu is looking to extend her incredible winning form in freestyle skiing in front of local crowds, viewers and online followers who already know all of the brands she represents all too well. A duo of figure skaters and a group of aerial acrobatic divers are working hard to turn their silver medal into gold. But for the whole nation, in a mindset so different from 2008, the biggest moment is that almost every one of the 109 medal-winning events will feature a local participant, a feat unimaginable for the international Olympic family to conceive there. was only a few years old. .

Another seemingly inevitable is COVID-19, as acknowledged and warned by Beijing 2022 organizers, and now increasingly true as surges around the world further complicate some of the final qualifiers still underway in Europe and in North America, and the aviation industry scrambles to schedule temporary direct flights around the world through hubs such as the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Tokyo, Singapore and Paris.

The Chinese government has confirmed its determination to move forward on time, and concerted efforts are needed to minimize threats from coronavirus, Delta or Omicron, repeating the success of Tokyo 2020 to prevent cases of internal bubbles from spreading in local communities. With its scale and scope smaller than the Summer Games, and its ground staff more experienced in implementing draconian protocols, Beijing 2022 has so much reason to stay calm and do an ever better job.

By the way, when a volunteer says “nucleic acid,” it’s no different from a PCR test, as it’s commonly called elsewhere.

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