BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese state-run media on Saturday lauded the decision to award Beijing the 2022 Winter Olympics, saying the city could handle any problem thrown at it and would aim to put on a “big party”.
Beijing, which will host the event with the nearby city of Zhangjiakou, had been the favorite to win the Games ahead of Kazakhstan’s Almaty at the IOC selection meeting in Kuala Lumpur on Friday.
While Beijing hosted the 2008 Summer Games to wide acclaim, its bid for the lower profile Winter Games had been dogged by concerns over a number of issues including the city’s notorious smog problem, a lack of snow and its poor human rights record.
The overseas edition of the ruling Communist Party’s official People’s Daily said the world could breath easy over any worries it might have about Beijing’s ability to hold the large-scale event.
“In China, every promise will be fully realized,” the paper wrote in a front page commentary.
“In our preparation work, though all sorts of difficulties will present themselves, like traffic or environmental problems, Beijing will redouble its efforts to overcome them.”
China is now the world’s second largest economy, with a stable political system, harmonious society and a happy populous, even if it is not a great winter sports power, it added.
“But it’s an undisputed fact that more and more Chinese love winter sports,” it said.
The Global Times, a popular and influential tabloid published by the People’s Daily, said China could be more relaxed this time around, compared with 2008.
“This time when we host the Winter Games, we may be able to be more relaxed, focusing on the beauty of the sports instead of laboring ourselves in ensuring a perfect event. We can try to make the 2022 Games a big party,” it said in a editorial.
People who opposed the Games in China are not a part of mainstream society, the paper added.
“Some of them are just following the voices of popular Western-style opponents. Others have their marginal reasons. But these opinions are not mainstream in China.”
The city government’s official Beijing Daily said that the Games had already spurred efforts to clean up the environment, and that Beijing and Zhangjiakou would not disappoint the world.
“We have the confidence, the ability and the conditions to put on a secure, vibrant and joyful Winter Olympics for the world,” it said in an editorial.
Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Greg Stutchbury