Beijing 2022 awaits as curtains fall on Pyeongchang

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As the Olympic flame slowly went out in Pyeongchang, South Korea, the Winter Olympic Games has now officially entered "Beijing Time."
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Reuters

Chinese performers present a show at the closing ceremony of the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in South Korea last night.

As the Olympic flame slowly went out in Pyeongchang, South Korea, the Winter Olympic Games has now officially entered “Beijing Time.”

The 8-minute show at the closing ceremony in Pyeongchang Olympics has made the world eager to see what Beijing has to offer in 2022. After the success of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, people wouldn’t expect anything less.

Hosting the 2022 Winter Olympic Games presents a golden opportunity for China to promote winter sports.

According to the Chinese government’s plan, the country will have about 650 skating rinks and 800 ski resorts by 2022. 

By the end of 2016, about 11.3 million Chinese skied at least once a year. China aims to lift that number to 300 million before the next Winter Olympics.

In fact, the Winter Games four years later has already brought dramatic changes to the country’s sport industry. According to the official statistics, many northern provinces in China saw dramatic surge in the number of tourists visiting major winter tourism destinations during the Chinese Lunar New Year Holiday.

The Chinese government estimated that the industry value of winter sports will top 1 trillion yuan (US$158 billion) by 2025.

Moreover, as Beijing will hold the event along with Zhangjiakou, a relatively inconspicuous city in comparison, the level of infrastructure in the area will also be greatly lifted. High speed rails and highways will be built to connect Beijing and Zhangjiakou, in addition to other cities.

The Olympics Games inspire people to embrace peace, find common ground while respecting differences.

For many people, the confidence over the mankind was partly restored when the two Koreas held one flag at the opening ceremony of the Pyeongchang Games.

The Olympics spirit is echoed by the idea of building a shared future for mankind, which was put forward by Chinese President Xi Jinping. 

By holding the Olympics Games, China has the opportunity to lend its traditional wisdom on peace to the world and share its vision of peaceful development.

Four years from now, the two Chinese cities will welcome athletes, sports fans and tourists from all the world during the Chinese New Year, the Chinese festival for families. During that time, the Chinese will make every friend who come here feel like home.

In Pyeongchang last night, the Republic of Korea and Democratic People’s Republic of Korea marched behind their own flags and Russia looked forward to a quick end to its ban over mass doping as the curtain fell on the engrossing Games.

Russia’s flag was absent after the International Olympic Committee voted to extend its ban over doping but Russian officials said they expected to return to the fold within days.

After a successful drone display, following an aborted attempt at the opening ceremony where recorded images were broadcast instead, International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach handed out medals from the final day.

Topless Tongan cross-country skier Pita Taufatofua made a cameo appearance, greased in his trademark coconut oil, before Bach declared the Games, one of the coldest on record, closed. 

“You have shown how sport brings people together in our fragile world; you have shown how sport builds bridges,” Bach told the athletes. 

“The Olympic Winter Games Pyeongchang 2018 are the Games of new horizons,” he added.

Winter Olympics legend Marit Bjoergen won the final gold of Pyeongchang in the women’s 30km cross country yesterday, putting Norway top of the table over Germany, on overall medals won.

Germany and Norway both finished on 14 golds, but the Norwegians took top spot with their record 39 medals overall to Germany’s 31. Canada was third with 11 golds, while host South Korea was seventh.

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