Promises “Safe, Magnificent” Winter Olympics As COVID Cases Increase | News about the Winter Olympics

The IOC reports the largest number of gambling-related personnel, condemning calls for a boycott of Beijing in 2022.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has promised to hold “safe and magnificent” Winter Olympics, as organizers say they have discovered dozens of new coronavirus infections among people associated with the Games.

Referring to a session of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in Beijing on Thursday – the day before the opening ceremony of the Games – Si said that “China is ready” to host an event that meets the Olympic slogan “faster, faster -high, stronger – together.

“We will do our best to provide the world with simple, safe and great games,” he said.

When the Games officially open in Beijing on Friday, the Chinese capital will become the first city to host summer and winter editions of the Olympics.

But preparations for the event have been affected by diplomatic boycotts as well as the coronavirus pandemic.

The competition, which is expected to be attended by about 3,000 athletes, has emerged as the toughest mass sporting event in the world since the pandemic, with all gaming staff subjected to daily testing and housed in a “closed” system that isolates them from the Chinese public.

Olympic workers greet members of the media as the Beijing 2022 crew takes pictures of them at Beijing Capital International Airport ahead of the 2022 Winter Olympics, Sunday, January 30, 2022, in Beijing.Olympic workers greet members of the media as Beijing 2022 crew film them at Beijing airport ahead of the 2022 Winter Olympics, 30 January [Kiichiro Sato/ AP]

Speaking at the same IOC session on Thursday, the chairman of the Beijing 2022 Medical Expert Panel, Brian McCloskey, said a total of 55 new COVID-19 infections were detected among gambling staff on Wednesday.

The figure – which includes 29 new arrivals at the airport and 26 among those in the Olympic bubble – is the highest ever.

But McCloskey says he is not worried and expects the cases to be alleviated once all participants have arrived.

“The numbers are very small,” he said. “We are confident that the system will work. But we are not calm. We comply with all measures. “

He added that there were 287 positive tests out of a total of 610,000 tests since January 23.

Thomas Bach, head of the IOC, also said that “everything is in place for safe and exclusive winter games”. But he condemned the diplomatic boycott of this year’s US-led Olympics, which was joined by the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia.

The boycott countries said their move was fueled by concerns about alleged human rights abuses in China, including attitudes toward Uighurs and other Muslim minority groups.

Human rights groups have also long criticized the IOC for awarding the Games to China.

But Bach has repeatedly defended his organization’s choice for the 2022 Olympics, saying the IOC is not a political body, nor is it its mandate to influence the laws of sovereign states.

He said on Thursday that in the two years before the Beijing Games, he had seen “the dark clouds of growing politicization of sport on the horizon”.

“We have also seen that in some people’s minds the boycotting ghosts of the past are raising their ugly heads again,” Bach said, referring to how the 1976, 1980 and 1984 Olympic Games were affected by boycotts of countries during the Cold War era. .

The moves seriously damaged the versatility and finances of the event.

“That is why we are working even harder to pass on this unifying mission of the Olympic Games to as many leaders and decision-makers as possible,” Bach said.

He also noted that he believes there are great trade opportunities created by these games, which he expected to transform the global winter sports industry.

“Today we can say that China is a country for winter sports. That is why Beijing 2022 will be the beginning of a new era for world winter sports, “Bach said.

He estimated the Chinese winter sports industry at about $ 150 billion by 2025.

“The world’s winter sports industry will benefit from this huge growth,” Bach said.

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