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Beijing Olympics shows the spirit of togetherness

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The Olympic flame is extinguished during the closing ceremony of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games on Sunday. AFP

Beijing Olympics shows the spirit of togetherness

The closing ceremony of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics on February 20 marked the conclusion of what has been a “safe, simple and splendid” spectacle of sports.

As the first global sports event that has been held as scheduled since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Games have captured hearts around the world.

It was due to the full cooperation between China and the International Olympic Committee and the strong support of all stakeholders that the Games, with the broadest participation of athletes in the history of the Winter Olympics, could finally overcome all the challenges and display to the world the heartwarming togetherness that is now an integral part of the Olympic motto.

Thanks to the strict implementation of a closed-loop Covid-19 pandemic prevention and control mode, and the cooperation of all athletes as well as the dedicated efforts of the staff workers and volunteers, the Games saw no clusters of infections in the three venues and there has been no resurgence of the epidemic in the host city.

Over the 16 days of the Games, there have been hugs and tears, and numerous memorable moments, not least those in which the competitors have offered their rivals heartfelt encouragement and warm congratulations.

That the worldwide audience for the Games has been the largest in the history of the winter Olympics has only exposed how small-minded and mean-spirited the “diplomatic boycott” by some Western politicians was and how hollow the cries of alarm of the anti-China forces have sounded.

The togetherness displayed at the Games should be thought-provoking for peoples and countries in conflict. What if they could set aside their differences and appreciate one another as equal members of the one big human family?

The differences between civilisations, religions, cultures and societies should not be reasons for conflicts but sources for countries and peoples to learn from each other for the common good of humanity.

The legacy of the Games can go far beyond being part of Olympic history or encouraging a new generation to enjoy winter sports if decision-makers have taken the opportunity to see that competition and togetherness are not mutually exclusive.

The efficient organisation of the Games and the state-of-the-art services and facilities have all cast the spotlight on a prosperous, dynamic and confident host country seeking to make its contributions to the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.

And a common takeaway for the athletes has been the friendliness and openness of the Chinese people. That is something that some in seats of power should come and experience for themselves.

Against the backdrop of the acute challenges the world faces today, the Games should encourage the international community to come together for a shared future.



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