The beginning of spring is the first of the twenty-four solar terms. On the 4th of February, the 4th day of the Chinese lunar New Year, the traditional Chinese solar term commenced. This year's 'Beginning of Spring' coincided with the opening of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.
In this special festival, the whole world turned its attention to China and the top event of the ice and snow sports. The 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics opened, presenting an unparalleled visual feast. Athletes from all over the globe were united for a better future of the world. Despite the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the game was definitely a surprise. Beijing becomes a "Dual Olympic City" in the world to host the Summer and Winter Olympic Games which has a very unique significance in the international Olympic movement.
The Beijing 2022 Olympic image was amazing. There was a high quality display screen in the stadium. The performance presented in the opening ceremony was very impressive, perfect, exciting, powerful, and expressed the beginning of spring. "Whether it is artistic or creative, the Chinese tradition and modernity were perfectly conveyed with impeccable ideas, techniques, and details from the very beginning. The venue was gorgeous, and even the surrounding streets were beautiful. The connection was smooth and without delay. The introductory song was also very pleasant. I have to say that the aesthetics displayed by Director Zhang Yimou can really be trusted forever. Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics showed that human science and technology have made great progress.
The Beijing Winter Olympics is not only a sports event but also a dream come true. The vision of "Together for a Shared Future" shows the strong attitude of mankind in the face of difficulties, points out the way to success in overcoming challenges and carries hundreds of millions of dreams towards a better tomorrow. I especially like the emblem of the Beijing Winter Olympics. It takes the Chinese character "Winter" as the main body. It skillfully combines the sports forms of ski tracks, ice and snow with calligraphy. It shows the strong cultural heritage and self-confidence of China as an ancient civilisation.
I particularly like the mascot of the Beijing Winter Olympics Bing Dwen Dwen. Bing Dwen Dwen has a profound meaning. In Chinese, "Bing" means ice and also symbolises purity and strength, and "Dwen Dwen" represents children and also symbolises honesty, health, and liveliness. "Bing Dwen Dwen" means creating the extraordinary and exploring the future, embodying the pursuit of excellence, leading the times, and infinite possibilities for the future. It's designed and created based on China's national treasure panda. The panda is healthy, lively, and naive. It symbolises the strength and willpower of the majority of the Winter Olympic athletes. At the same time, it fully promotes and demonstrates the Olympic spirit of mutual understanding, friendship, unity, and fair competition.
According to reports, Beijing Olympics 2022 has set up a volunteer home for volunteers for the first time in Olympic history. In accordance with the requirements of "simple, safe and exciting", the Beijing Winter Olympics has hired more than 18,000 volunteers. In every competition and non-competition venue where volunteers provide services, there is a volunteer home where an exclusive place has been set up for volunteers. With a "blue sky" and a fiery heart, the Winter Olympics volunteers warmed the weather with smiles and embraced the whole world with dedication. In the opening ceremony of the Beijing Winter Olympics, IOC President Thomas Bach expressed his gratitude to the volunteers. He said, "We would like to express our special thanks to all the volunteers. From the moment we arrived, you made us feel at home. In your eyes, a smile warms our hearts."
The connection with the Olympics and well-organised activities make the Spring Festival enjoyable for volunteers. The relevant business areas of the Beijing Winter Olympics Organising Committee have provided sufficient guarantee for the volunteers including certificates, uniforms and equipment, catering, accommodation, transportation, medical care, insurance, materials, space among others. As a social activist in China and President of Lei Feng International Volunteer Association, I think, it's a perfectly welled arrangement for the volunteers.
The Winter Olympics can be seen from the main torch of the opening ceremony with energy-saving and emission reduction as the central theme. A series of measures taken by the Beijing Winter Olympics for energy conservation and environmental protection, such as low-carbon energy, low-carbon venues, low-carbon transportation, and low-carbon offices are all milestones of positive significance. All carbon emissions from the Beijing Winter Olympics have been neutralised. The Beijing Winter Olympics Organising Committee has worked closely with the "Low-Carbon Plan". All venues use 100% green electricity during the game, build a low-carbon transportation system during the competition, and the venues meet green building standards.
Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics has emphasised sustainable development and carbon neutrality in the preparation and operation of the event. Not only that, the new technologies and high-tech energy-saving and emission-reduction methods that shine at the Winter Olympics will also be important points in the future.
The Beijing Winter Olympics has received extensive support and blessings from the international community, and the "More Unity" advocated by the Olympic Movement is especially needed in today's era. All countries in the world share a common destiny, and the China central government proposed to use "Together for a Shared future" as the slogan of the Beijing Winter Olympics. This Olympic showcased China and the Chinese culture to the world, fulfilled China's commitment to "simplicity, safety, and excitement", and demonstrated the vision of a community with a shared future. Beijing Winter Olympics certainly builds more friendly bridges and platforms for cooperation between the Chinese people and the people of other countries.
The 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics was more to let the world know the profound cultural and spiritual connotations of China which has a history of 5,000 years of civilization. The 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics is an image of the era that shows contemporary China's efforts to achieve a great national rejuvenation, "From me to Us" and "Together for a Shared the future". Martin Jacques, Former Senior Fellow at the Department of Politics and International Studies, Cambridge University quoted that If the story of the 2008 Olympics was all about Beijing and its new modernity, the story of these Olympics is about China's urban-rural divide and the challenge of transforming some of the poorest and most remote areas of the country and providing them with a state-of-the-art transport infrastructure ensuring their connectivity with the rest of China. Now there's a lesson for the world.
However, China's arrangement will not be an eye-opener for the western world especially the United States and its allies. The United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia have announced a diplomatic boycott of the Olympic Games, citing human rights abuses in Xinjiang. What I think, there are no boundaries for sports. Sports cannot be part of geo-polities. Today, as the world grapples with challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, and economic downturn the Beijing Winter Olympic will once again remind people of the importance of solidarity and cooperation in tackling challenges. A successful Olympics will strengthen global solidarity against the virus and demonstrate the Olympic spirit of "Together for a Shared Future". Green, science and technology, culture helped the Beijing Winter Olympics wonderful competition. The Beijing Winter Olympic Opening ceremony has left a valuable Olympic treasure for the future.
Mohammad Saiyedul Islam is a Doctoral Fellow in the School of International Trade and Economics at Jiangxi University of Finance and Economics, and a journalist based in China.