Beijing pleads with Australia to sustain Games

“Today, the COVID pandemic shows no sign of a complete ending, the world seems to have become more volatile, polarised and disturbing. The Beijing Winter Olympics come at such special moment […]

“We believe sport has no borders,” he said adding it was China’s hope the world would unite under the Olympic banner to “together tackle the pandemic, climate change and other global challenges”.

Australia will will play their opening match in the curling on February 2.

The hosts also twice brought up a United Nations resolution adopted on December 2 – it recognised “the unifying strength of sport” in development and peace – to emphasise their understanding that most countries were behind the Games, despite some diplomatic push back.

Australian officials and guests echoed the sentiment and aired a video by Australian athletes who proclaimed their excitement to not only take part in the Games, but also “for the love of the people and the culture”.

Australian Olympic Team Chef de Mission Geoff Lipshut said he was promoted by the test events that have taken place in Beijing in recent days and understood the venues to be “absolutely excellent”.

He said Australian athletes were nevertheless taking part in qualifiers in Europe and North America until the last minute, and would be in Beijing from the end of the month.

Australia will confront Sweden in mixed doubles curling on February 2 and the hosts on the following day, ahead of the Games’ official opening on Friday February 4.

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