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Thursday, March 04, 2021, 21:14
Yang Yang: Boycotting Olympics is pointless, will hurt athletes
By Xinhua
Thursday, March 04, 2021, 21:14 By Xinhua

In this Nov 7, 2019 photo, China's former short-track speed-skater Yang Yang speaks during the closing ceremony of the World Conference on Doping in Sport in Katowice, Poland. (ZHOU NAN / XINHUA)

BEIJING - Yang Yang, a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), who is attending the "two sessions" in Beijing, said on Thursday that preparations for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics are progressing steadily.

As China's first ever Winter Olympic champion, Yang Yang is well aware of the importance of Winter Olympics to all athletes

Some overseas politicians' politicization of sports, however, will undoubtedly hurt athletes who have worked for their dreams for years and those who love sports, she said.

As chairman of the athletes' committee of the Beijing Organizing Committee for the 2022 Winter Olympics, Yang has been keeping an eye on the preparations for the Games. "The preparations for the Winter Olympics have gone smoothly," she said. "My colleagues from BOCOG have also worked very hard during the Spring Festival. We have conducted a testing program for snow events. Test program for ice events will take place in April. The whole process is moving forward steadily."

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After some overseas politicians politicized sports in an attempt to disrupt the preparation and opening of the Beijing Winter Olympics, Yang, also serving as vice president of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), said "judging from history, similar practices in the past have never completed their selfish and narrow-minded political goals. The idea of politicizing sports again is naive and pointless.

"I'm glad to see that international sports organizations, such as the IOC and other international sports organizations, have reached a consensus against this kind of behavior," she added.

As China's first ever Winter Olympic champion, Yang is well aware of the importance of Winter Olympics to all athletes. "Boycotting the Olympics will only harm the athletes, especially the athletes from the countries which might decide to boycott," said Yang. "The athletes have worked so hard for years to realize their Olympics dreams."

"Meanwhile, such acts will also hurt those who love and believe in sports, including children, as they need role models. Especially during the epidemic, the athletes' spirit will inspire more people to face challenges and work hard to solve difficulties."

"As the host, I welcome all athletes to Beijing and we will provide the best possible environment to compete in and have an unforgettable Olympic experience," said Yang.

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With the construction of all the competition venues completed, preparation work for the Winter Olympics is now in the home stretch. Relevant departments will work together to prevent and control the epidemic and prepare for the Games.

"We will go all out to host a successful Winter Olympics and provide athletes from around the world a chance to realize their dreams," Yang said. "The organizing committee has several anti-epidemic measures well planned, and we are confident that the 2022 Winter Games will go on as scheduled."

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