BEIJING – We’re one year out from the start of the Winter Olympics in Beijing and officials say they’re "confident" China will be able to safely host the event at that time.
Thursday, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) formally invited winter sport athletes from around the world to participate in the Games, which are scheduled to be held from Feb. 4 to Feb. 20, 2021.
“One year from now, Beijing will write history as the first city ever to host both the summer and winter editions of the Olympic Games. These Games will connect the Chinese people with the world,” said IOC President Thomas Bach in a statement.
Citing how China “is overcoming the coronavirus crisis,” Bach said the IOC is confident that the country will ensure the Games are safe and secure.
“Every time that I have visited China, I am so impressed by the enthusiasm and support for the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022,” Bach continued. “This is why, we can say already now with great confidence: China is ready. Ready to welcome the world’s best winter sports athletes for unforgettable Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022.”
The IOC says all competition venues were completed by the end of 2020 and the remaining construction is set to be finished by the end of 2021.
IOC officials may be confident in China being able to host the Winter Olympics next year, but the COVID-19 pandemic is still in full swing around the world. Last year, the coronavirus forced officials to reschedule the Tokyo Summer Olympics for summer of this upcoming July and many still skeptical if those will be held on time.
Also on Thursday, the IOC unveiled the official torches for the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
The Olympic torch is named “Flying” and features an inner red “blazing ribbon” that contrasts with a second ribbon that is silver-plated on the outer edge, officials say. The Paralympic torch features a gold inner ribbon, with a silver outside.
The official torches for the #Beijing2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games have been unveiled! 🔥❄
— Olympics (@Olympics) February 4, 2021