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Beijing Winter Olympics 2022

Toughest job in China? Meet party chief who has to deliver a hit Winter Olympics (without snow and amid Beijing’s choking smog)

City’s Communist Party boss Guo Jinlong handed unenviable task

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 16 December, 2015, 10:35am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 16 December, 2015, 5:13pm

Beijing has appointed top city official Guo Jinlong to head its 2022 Winter Olympic Games organising committee as it gears up to become the first city to host both the summer and winter editions of the event.

Guo, the city's Communist Party boss, said his first task would be to review the Beijing's Host City Contract and the IOC's Olympic Agenda 2020 before coming up with a detailed agenda, Xinhua said.

Olympic Agenda 2020 aims to make the games more frugal and sustainable, and Beijing won its bid partly on the back of its commitment to keeps costs down.

Guo's appointment was announced in a ceremony Tuesday at the Great Hall of the People in the heart of Beijing attended by top national leaders including Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli.

“To host a successful Winter Games is China's solemn commitment to the Olympic Family,” Zhang was quoted as saying.

Beijing hosted the 2008 Summer Olympics and won its bid for the 2022 Games on July 31, becoming the first city in Olympic history to be awarded both the winter and summer games.

However, air pollution and a lack of natural snow remain concerns. Because there are no tall mountains in the Beijing area, the skiing and other outdoor events are being held far from the city centre.

Beijing says hosting the games will hasten efforts to clean up the air and help promote winter sports among tens of millions of young Chinese. Organisers also say have the water supplies and technology to produce sufficient man-made snow for the events.

Guo previously served as executive chairman of the Beijing 2008 organising committee.