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World news agencies visit 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic sites

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Representatives from major world news agencies are visiting Beijing for a first look at some of the facilities to be used at the 2022 Winter Olympic Games.

The first World Agency Meeting of Beijing 2022 takes place this week, with representatives from several agencies, including Associated Press, Agence France-Presse, Reuters and Kyodo News.

"Beijing has already hosted the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, which all of the world's media came to and which was very successful," said Anthony Edgar, head of International Olympic Committee media operations. "But they haven't been back since then. So they're here to see Beijing in winter conditions, and especially to see the Alpine venues and to meet the new staff that will be working on Beijing 2022."

The 2022 Winter Games will utilize 24 competition and non-competition venues located in three competition clusters in and around Beijing and neighboring Zhangjiakou in Hebei province.

On Monday, agency representatives visited the National Stadium and other sites in Beijing, most of which were constructed for the 2008 Summer Olympic Games and are being repurposed for 2022.

"Most of the venues we know already, because we worked here in 2008," said Vincent Amalvy, head of special operations at Agence France-Presse. "It's amazing to come back. For example, the [National Aquatics Center Water Cube] will be transformed into a curling venue."

Shinsuke Kobayashi, deputy managing director of Kyodo News' Olympic and Paralympic news office, was also complimentary about Beijing's Olympic legacy.

"I'm quite impressed that the Winter Games here is utilizing the summer venues very well. It's very good planning. I can see the legacy of the 2008 Olympic Games. Chinese tourists are coming to the Birds' Nest and Water Cube. It's good to see that the venues haven't become white elephants after the 2008 Games," Kobayashi said.

Xinhua


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