China News Agency, Beijing, February 16th, title: China's first gold medal at the Winter Olympics in 20 years Yang Yang: The Olympic Games make people feel the beauty of the world

  China News Agency reporter Wan Shuyan

  On February 16, 2002, Chinese athlete Yang Yang won the gold medal in the women's 500-meter short track speed skating final at the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics, achieving a "zero breakthrough" in the Chinese Winter Olympics gold medal.

Twenty years later, at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics held at home, the Chinese delegation has won 6 golds, 4 silvers, and 2 bronzes, setting new best results and making breakthroughs in many projects.

On February 16, 2002, in Salt Lake City, the United States, Yang Yang won the championship in the women's 500-meter short track speed skating final at the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics.

For the Chinese delegation to achieve the "zero breakthrough" of the Winter Olympics gold medal.

Image source: Visual China

  "As an ice and snow athlete, I feel very lucky to have the opportunity to participate in the Winter Olympics, bid for the Winter Olympics, and witness a Winter Olympics held at my doorstep." Yang Yang said in an exclusive interview with a reporter from China News Agency, "20 years of Before, I was fortunate enough to win the first Winter Olympics gold medal for my motherland; 20 years later, Chinese athletes are shocking the world with their tenacious struggle and perfect performance, and Chinese ice and snowmen inherit progress and hope."

Talking about Beijing's bid for the Winter Olympics: Beijing has left a responsible image to the world

  Yang Yang won a total of 59 world championships in his sports career and is the Chinese athlete with the most world championships. He announced his retirement in 2006.

  In 2015, when he bid farewell to the short track speed skating arena for nearly 10 years, Yang Yang once again stood on the stage representing China and recommended Beijing to the world as one of the speakers of the Olympic bid delegation.

  Recalling the moment when the Olympic bid was successful, Yang Yang was still very moved.

She believes that the success of the Beijing Winter Olympics has its own logic.

China has done very meticulous bidding and preparations, not only considering China's needs, but also the development of the global Olympic movement.

In addition, China's bid concept of "athlete-centered, sustainable development, and frugal hosting" is closely linked to the Olympic 2020 agenda.

The goal of "300 million people on ice and snow" proposed by China demonstrates the sustainable development of ice and snow sports; when it comes to hosting the Olympic Games frugally, the International Olympic Committee was also discussing how to "slim down" the Olympic Games so that more countries can afford the Olympic Games.

  "Besides, by successfully hosting the 2008 Summer Olympics, Beijing has left a responsible image to the world and given the international community, especially the Olympic family, trust and confidence in China," Yang Yang said.

Talking about the preparation of the Beijing Winter Olympics: Ensuring the best level of athletes

  While the new crown epidemic is still raging around the world, Beijing has made great efforts to host the Winter Olympics on time.

Yang Yang said that during the preparation process, China has maintained close contact with the International Olympic Committee, individual organizations and various stakeholders, and prepared for the Winter Olympics with high quality in accordance with international rules and the requirements of the International Olympic Committee.

  After Beijing's successful bid for the Winter Olympics, Yang Yang has another identity: Chairman of the Athletes Committee of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics and Winter Paralympics, and 19 members of the Athlete Committee, including Yang Yang, actively provide advice and suggestions to the Organizing Committee based on their own experiences.

"The athlete's problem is solved, and the Olympics are 98 percent successful."

  The new crown epidemic is still raging around the world, and the biggest safety issue of this Winter Olympics is epidemic prevention.

The Beijing Winter Olympics adopts a closed-loop management throughout the process, and two editions of the epidemic prevention manual have been issued in succession.

There are many difficulties that need to be overcome behind the manual: how to take into account the cultural background and differences in regulations of different countries, and how to ensure that athletes come to China one by one, which is quite challenging.

"I cooperate with the International Olympic Committee to answer questions and doubts of athletes all over the world in a timely manner."

  The Beijing Winter Olympics also fully guarantees the athletes' training, food, clothing, housing and transportation to ensure that they can perform at their best in the competition.

"Every detail of the preparatory process fully demonstrates international solidarity and cooperation."

Talking about international sports exchanges: the Olympics can cross borders

  Since 1999, Yang Yang has held important positions in many international organizations such as the International Olympic Committee, the International Skating Union, and the World Anti-Doping Agency. He is currently the Vice-Chairman of the World Anti-Doping Agency.

  Before the opening of the Beijing Winter Olympics, a few countries in the West claimed to boycott the Beijing Winter Olympics.

In this regard, Yang Yang said that sports are abused or used by people in various forms, which shows that sports have a great influence.

But sports are still sports, the purer the better. If there are other purposes mixed in, it will ultimately hurt sports and athletes.

  Yang Yang has been speaking at the International Olympic Committee against the politicization of sports.

She said that now both the international community and the Olympic family have reached a consensus to protect the right of athletes to participate, to keep sports and politics separate, and to insist on peace and personal development pursued by the Olympics.

"It can be seen from the Beijing Winter Olympics that even if some political factors try to intervene, it's nothing more than just eyeballs, and all the athletes who can come will come."

  "Today's world is full of divisions and conflicts. The Olympic Games can remind everyone that people from all over the world can play fair competition together in this way and feel the mutual support and encouragement between people. This is the original beauty of the world. The value of the Olympic Games is to awaken people to get along with each other in a better way.” Yang Yang believes that the Olympic Movement can overcome national barriers, overcome various difficulties, and promote wider exchanges between China and the West.