Beijing, Jan 1 (IANS) Winter Olympics champions and skating and skiing world champions highlighted Beijing’s 2022 Winter Olympics aspirations at a New Year countdown event here.
Among them were Yang Yang, the Salt Lake Winter Olympics skating champion and now a member of the IOC, Zhou Yang, double Olympic champion of Vancouver Games, Shen Xue/Zhao Hongbo, figure skating pairs champions of Vanvouver Games, Xinhua reports.
At the same time another two venues involved to Beijing’s bidding of Winter Olympics also staged New Year countdown ceremonies Wednesday. The countdown kicked off at 20:00 local time at three different venues, but the same theme: “Snowy Beijing Welcomes Olympics”. The three venues were the Olympic Green here, Guangchang near the Badaling Great Wall, and Chongli in Zhangjiakou respectively.
The event was held to bring enthusiastic citizens together to demonstrate their craving for 2022 Olympic Winter Games and Winter Paralympic Games, to highlight the fascination of Beijing in winter, and voice aspirations of billions of Chinese people to realize the Olympics.
At the main venue of Bird’s Nest in the Olympic Green, young ice hockey players were synonymous with Beijingers who are enthusiastic about winter sports, while the ice skating performance in Yanqing and snow sports programs in Chongli reinterpreted passion of citizens for winter sports and their best wishes for the success of Beijing’s bid for 2022 Olympic Winter Games and Winter Paralympic Games.
Citizens from all walks of life and of all ethnic groups, tourists from home and abroad, winners of Olympic Winter Games and national champions, aficionados of winter sports, university students and volunteers of Beijing gathered in the Bird’s Nest to celebrate the coming new year, singing and dancing joyously, and creating a pleasant and festival atmosphere.
They also prepared wish lamps and wrote down their New Year’s resolutions on the “Scroll of Wishes”.
In Yanqing, an event themed with “Joint Efforts to Welcome People from all over the World” and attended by local communities proceeded in a joyous and warm atmosphere, and featured with distinctive performances including ski dance representing vigour and passion of winter sports, traditional folk art performance of Yanqing, fashionable and dazzling “Light and Shadow” dance show, and ice ballet to show the perfect combination of power and beauty.
In Chongli, winter sports lovers and local communities actively participated in interactive projects, featuring the vision of Beijing for the Olympic Winter Games — “Joyful Rendezvous upon Pure Ice and Snow”.
At 23:30, the New Year countdown ceremony in the Bird’s Nest officially began with a pleasant and joyful Happy New Year song. Figure skaters then performed to the Dance on the Ice and Snow song, honoring rhythms of winter sports and harmony between humans and nature.
With the logo of the Olympic Winter Games designed by Beijing appearing on the big screen, drummers beat out the music for the New Year. The widely known song “I Love You”, “Snow in Saibei”, which was also performed by Lin Miaoke at the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics, brought audiences back to a romantic ice and snow wonderland.
Then a group of acrobats got the stage accompanied by the lively song Happy Beat, and won applause and cheering from audiences for their marvelous juggling and acrobatic moves, making the event a grand celebration in which excited audiences highly participate.
World-renowned pianist Lang Lang also gave an enthusiastic performance of the dynamic and appealing song of “A Tribute to the Olympic Rings”, demonstrating the earnest hope of people for success in bidding for the 2022 Olympic Winter Games.
Several former Winter Olympic champions expressed their New Year wishes for 2015 and blessings for Beijing’s bid for the 2022 Olympic Winter Games. Seven former Winter Olympic champions and winter sports world champions came to the New Year countdown in Beijing to extend New Year’s greetings to friends from home and abroad at the scene.
Amidst the jubilation of the crowd, mayor Wang Anshun of Beijing, governor Zhang Qingwei of Hebei province, Yang Yang, Ye Qiaobo (the first Chinese medallist of Winter Olympics) and tourist representatives activated together the “2015 Sonata” with the theme of “realizing the Chinese dream and striking the highest note”.