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A cultural salon was held both in-person and online at China International Communications Group to welcome the upcoming Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, Jan. 13, 2022. [Photo courtesy of CICG Advanced Institute of International Studies and Training]

With less than one month to go before the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, a cultural salon was held at China International Communications Group (CICG) to welcome the sports extravaganza.

Hosted by the CICG Advanced Institute of International Studies and Training, the event brought together prominent athletes and noted media practitioners from China and 12 foreign countries, who shared their experience, views and understanding of the Winter Olympics both in-person and online.

Sun Bin, an official with the Media and Communications Department of the Beijing Organizing Committee for the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, introduced preparation work for the Games, including venue construction, anti-pandemic measures and ecological conservation and restoration efforts.

Table tennis Grand Slam winner Deng Yaping first hailed the realization of China's Olympic dream when it hosted the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics. In fact, back in 1908, a magazine posed the question, "When will China become a host of the Olympics?" 100 years later, China responded when it presented Beijing 2008 to the world. Now, Beijing 2022 is on track to amaze the world again.

Deng then shared her perceptions of the Olympic spirit. As a skiing aficionado who has been practicing the sport for 20 years after retiring as a ping-pong player, she said that skiing sometimes demands more courage considering the steep and tortuous slopes. Striking a harmonious balance between humans and nature is also needed when facing the snowy mountains, which further illustrates part of the Olympic spirit.

Alamdar Kazmi, a news producer and reporter for PTV-World of Pakistan, noted that the Pakistani government opposes any politicization of sports and that the so-called "diplomatic boycott" of Beijing 2022 by certain Western countries is creating division and confrontation. The Olympic Games bring together people from different countries, ethnic groups and cultural backgrounds, which has contributed to the peace and development of mankind, thus making it conducive to building a community with a shared future for mankind, Kazmi added.

In terms of facilitating a green, clean, open and shared Olympics, Wang Chunlu, short track speed skating world champion and dean of the Ice Hockey College of Beijing Sport University, introduced some new sustainable technologies for Beijing 2022, such as a special ice-making technology that uses eco-friendly carbon dioxide refrigerants. Sun Bin added that there will be a zero-tolerance policy for doping so as to make the Winter Olympics as pure and clean as snow and ice.

Regarding media coverage of Beijing 2022, Munkhtuul Banzragch, editor-in-chief of Mongolian News in Chinese, emphasized that the reporting must be objective, professional and timely with no political motivations. Kazmi voiced his interest in the advanced technologies used to broadcast the Games, especially the 5G live broadcast studio on board a tailor-made bullet train which can transmit ultra-high-definition content.

While discussing how to spread sports culture to Generation Z, Deng suggested using sports-themed films, TV series, variety shows and books to attract and engage more young people. Kiram Tadesse, a media expert from Ethiopia, underscored the role that the internet and social media can play to encourage the youth to take on sports.