Olympics: Beijing told to stage responsible games

Juan Antonio Samaranch

Juan Antonio Samaranch

International Olympic Committee (IOC) Coordination Commission chair Juan Antonio Samaranch has encouraged Beijing 2022 to deliver the most ‘intelligent’ Olympic Games, rather than seeking to host the biggest or most extravagant edition.

Samaranch, officially chairing the Commission for the first time, began the two-day visit with an optimistic message for Beijing 2022.

The Spaniard insisted that organisers would need to ensure the Games are responsible while delivering a strong legacy.

He highlighted the need to ensure the Games were delivered in accordance with the IOC’s Agenda 2020 and New Norm documents, which stress the need to reduce the cost of hosting the Olympic Games.

“Together we can ensure the Games are an exciting sporting event, but also a responsible event,” Samaranch said.

“It has to leave a strong legacy that we are all proud of in the future.

“These have to be the most intelligent Games ever.

“Not the biggest, not the most expensive, but the most intelligent.

“When we are done with this exercise four years from now, we need to be proud of how we intelligently devised these Games.

“The legacy is critical; no-one can afford anymore to throw a wonderful two week party.

“It has to have a meaning; it has to have a legacy.”

Samaranch’s opening remarks to the meeting have continued to show the IOC’s recent calls for organisers to maintain a firm grip on their budget.

With the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics being notable for their extravagance, his comments highlighted how the IOC are keen for the Chinese capital to follow a more frugal path as they prepare to become the first city to host both the Summer and Winter Olympic Games.

The assertion also comes at a key stage of the 2026 Winter Olympic race.

Samaranch stated that he was confident Beijing would use their experience of hosting the 2008 Games to ensure that strong legacy projects would emerge from the winter edition in four years time.

He claimed organisers had already begun delivering legacy projects for the Games, citing the transformation of an industrial site into their headquarters as one of the successful initiatives. –Insidethegames.biz

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