Chinese President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, delivers a speech at a gathering to honor those who have made outstanding contributions to the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games and the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, April 8, 2022. (Xinhua/Li Xueren)
BEIJING, April 8 (Xinhua) -- A ceremony was held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on the morning of April 8 to honor those who have made outstanding contributions to the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics.
President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, delivered a speech.
Xi said that a great cause nurtures a great spirit, and a great spirit promotes a great cause. The participants in the Games cherished the opportunity presented by the great era, and in the process of bidding, organizing and hosting the Games, they have created the spirit of bearing in mind the big picture, being confident and open, rising to the challenges, pursuing excellence, and creating a better future together. Xi called for carrying forward the spirit of the Games, and forging ahead more confidently and more determinedly toward the second centenary goal and toward the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation.
Premier Li Keqiang chaired the ceremony. Other members of the Standing Committee of the CPC Central Committee Political Bureau also attended the event. They are Li Zhanshu, Wang Yang, Wang Huning, Zhao Leji and Han Zheng. Vice President Wang Qishan was also present. Han Zheng announced the decision on the awards.
The atmosphere was solemn and warm in the main hall of the Great Hall of the People. A streamer bearing the words "Beijing Winter Olympics and Paralympics Review and Awards Ceremony" hangs above the podium. In the middle of the curtain behind is the glowing national emblem of the People's Republic of China, with 10 red flags on both sides. A streamer hanged outside the balcony of the second floor reads "Rally closely around the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, carry forward the spirit of the Beijing Winter Olympics and Paralympics, and strive together to build a modern socialist country in all respects and to realize the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation."
The ceremony began at 10:30 a.m. All rose and sang the national anthem.
Han Zheng read out the decision of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council to commend groups and individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the Beijing Winter Olympics and Paralympics. According to the decision, to commend role models and encourage the whole Party and the Chinese people of all ethnic groups to strive to build a modern socialist country in all respects, the CPC Central Committee and the State Council decided to award 148 groups and 148 individuals for their outstanding contributions to the Beijing Winter Olympics and Paralympics. They include the venue operation team of the National Speed Skating Oval and snowboard gold medalist Su Yiming. Deng Xiaolan who led a choir of village kids for the Games' opening and closing ceremonies and just passed away was also awarded.
To the accompaniment of cheerful music, Xi Jinping and other leaders presented awards to the representatives of groups and individuals who were commended for their outstanding contributions to the Games.
After enthusiastic applause, Xi Jinping delivered a speech.
Xi said that after seven years of arduous efforts, the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics have been successfully hosted, drawing wide attention both at home and from abroad.
By overcoming various difficulties, the Chinese people, along with people from around the world, have once again presented a global sport event that will go down in history and together shared the glory of Olympics, he said.
Xi said it is the solemn promise that the Chinese people have made to the international community to ensure the delivery of safe and splendid Winter Olympics and Paralympics as scheduled.
Over the past seven years, under the strong leadership of the CPC Central Committee, all relevant departments, as well as provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities cooperated closely to overcome difficulties, he said.
Beijing and Zhangjiakou, the two host cities, deployed their best resources, and worked closely with global sports organizations, including the International Olympic Committee and International Paralympic Committee, to surmount challenges including the COVID-19 pandemic and present the world with streamlined, safe and splendid Games, Xi said, noting that China has honored its solemn promise.
Xi said that Beijing has become the world's first "dual-Olympic city", gathering momentum for the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.
The Games are splendid, patriotism was fully manifested, the goal of involving 300 million people in ice and snow activities has come true, he said.
Xi said that the Games have left a fruitful legacy, with the success of the Games promoting regional development and the COVID-19 prevention and control being targeted and effective, which have played a key role in promoting solidarity, cooperation and joint efforts to overcome difficulties globally. It has also brought confidence and hope to a world overshadowed by instability, and sent the world a message of the times - Together for a Shared Future, Xi said.
Noting that the glory of the Games is built on seven years of arduous endeavors, he said that the Beijing Winter Olympics and Paralympics were prepared and hosted amid great difficulties.
Upholding the spirit of "never stop, never make a single mistake and never miss a day's work," all participants have made painstaking efforts, he said.
Xi said that the athletes and coaches bore in mind the expectations of the Party and the people, competed bravely, and performed beyond their limits.
They achieved China's best-ever results at the Winter Games and got a lot of credit for the Party and the people, he added.
Driven by a strong sense of responsibility, mission and honor, participants in the Games have accomplished all the tasks outstandingly with their hard work, perseverance and courage, Xi said, noting that they have made achievements worthy of the motherland, the people and the times.
On behalf of the CPC Central Committee, the State Council and the Central Military Commission, Xi extended congratulations to the awarded groups and individuals. He offered salutations to all the builders, workers and volunteers, all the athletes and coaches, and members of the People's Liberation Army, the People's Armed Police Force, the public security police and the fire and rescue services. He also expressed heartfelt gratitude to all the people of Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, as well as the overseas Chinese, who have supported the Games enthusiastically.
During the preparations, the International Olympic Committee, the International Paralympic Committee and members of the Olympic and Paralympic families helped a lot with China's work, and governments and people of many countries and international friends provided great support, Xi noted. Athletes from all over the world respected and encouraged each other during the competitions and exceeded the limit of their endurance. They perfectly substantiated the Olympic motto "Faster, Higher, Stronger - Together" and the Paralympic values "Courage, Determination, Inspiration and Equality."
On behalf of the Chinese government and over 1.4 billion Chinese people, Xi expressed sincere gratitude to the International Olympic Committee, the International Paralympic Committee, members of the Olympic and Paralympic families and friends from countries and regions around the world. He also paid high tribute to athletes from all participating countries and regions who courageously strived for the best during the Games.
Achievements are from hard work and victory does not come easily, Xi stressed. Reviewing the seven-year extraordinary process of preparation and hosting of the Games, we have harvested not only the joy of success, but also abundant intellectual wealth and valuable experience, which are worth cherishing and carrying forward, he said.
Xi underlined the need to uphold the Party's centralized, unified leadership. The CPC is the most reliable backbone for us to ensure great achievements. As long as we unswervingly uphold the Party's leadership, we will definitely overcome all difficulties and obstacles that we meet and ensure every success in our future work.
We must pool all resources to accomplish major tasks, Xi said. The socialism in China with extraordinary capabilities of organization, coordination and implementation, as well as our country's solid economic and technological strength and composite national strength gave us tremendous confidence and laid a solid foundation for the success of the Games.
Xi also stressed the need to prevent and address risks and challenges proactively. He called for keeping in mind the worst scenarios, adhering to a problem-oriented approach, staying alert against potential dangers, and giving high priority to preempting and defusing risks and challenges, so as to take the initiative to adopt a proactive strategy.
The hosting of the Games must be combined with serving the people and promoting development, Xi said. China has been committed to the principle that the people share the fruits of the Games, who now enjoy better physical and mental health, better employment and better life. Common participation and joint efforts have resulted in shared development.
Xi summarized the spirit of the Beijing Winter Olympics and Paralympics as bearing in mind the big picture, being confident and open, rising to the challenges, pursuing excellence, and creating a better future together.
-- Bearing in mind the big picture means to have the motherland in mind, aim high, and regard the preparation and hosting of the Games as one of the country's most fundamental interests. It also means that people should take it as their duty to win glory for the country and their honor to make contributions to the country, and have the courage to shoulder responsibilities, unite and work hard for the motherland and the people.
-- Being confident and open means to be inclusive, to remain confident in the path, theory, system and culture of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and to pass on the country's profound cultural heritage by innovative transformation and development. It also means to substantiate the country's time-honored civilization through simple manners and in simple words, to show the sincerity and friendliness of the Chinese people with hospitality, and to promote mutual understanding and friendship among different peoples through exchanges.
-- Rising to the challenges means to work hard with perseverance, to keep the high morale while knowing the burdens ahead heavy but still facing challenges, to overcome difficulties and risks, and to forge ahead.
-- Pursuing excellence means perseverance, dedication and meticulousness. It also means to stick to the highest possible standards and requirements, to refine every plan and measure, to seek perfection through rehearsals, and to achieve breakthroughs and miracles one after another.
-- Creating a better future together means coordination, interaction and cooperation. It also means to align the motto "Together for a Shared Future" with "Faster, Higher, Stronger - Together", with a vision to the future of China's development and human development at large, and to call on all members on Earth to jointly build a community with a shared future for mankind.
Xi noted that it took us seven years to ensure a success in hosting the Games, and now we have prepared ourselves well for the next stage. We should make plans proactively and work hard persistently to make the most of the legacy of the Games.
He said the Games have left us not only venues and facilities, but also cultural heritage and human resources, all of which are valuable assets we must make full use of.
He said we will continue to make ice and snow sports more popular by strengthening strategic planning, and help maintain the general public's enthusiasm for these sports.
Xi added that we will fully tap cultural resources from the Games to bolster confidence in our own culture and make China's voice heard globally and tell China's stories well.
He said we will carry forward the spirit of humanitarianism, respect and safeguard human rights, and promote all-round development of programs for people with disabilities.
He noted we will promote throughout society the spirit of volunteers featuring contribution, friendship, mutual support and progress and allow full play to the active role of volunteers, to facilitate social progress.
Xi said we will carry forward the Olympic spirit, ensure the Olympic Games play an important role in promoting peace and development, and offer more Chinese wisdom and Chinese strength to the progress of human civilization.
He said we will attach great importance to and fully leverage the important role of sports in advancing people's well-rounded development, continue to promote reform and innovation in sports, improve the public fitness programs and raise awareness of sports and fitness among our people, the young people in particular.
Xi added that we will promote the country's overall strength and competitiveness in international competitive sports, and step up efforts to build China into a country strong on sports.
Premier Li Keqiang, who chaired the ceremony, stated that General Secretary Xi Jinping gave an important speech which is of great political, theoretical and guiding significance. Xi fully affirmed the tremendous achievements of the Beijing Winter Olympics and Paralympics, reviewed the seven-year extraordinary process and summarized the valuable experience of preparation and hosting of the Games. Xi elaborated on the spirit of the Games and put forth clear requirements for making full use of the legacy of the Games to facilitate high-quality development. It is essential to conscientiously study the speech and apply it thoroughly.
We must more closely rally around the Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core and follow the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era. We must acquire a deep understanding of the decisive significance of the establishment of both Comrade Xi Jinping's core position on the Party Central Committee and in the Party as a whole and the guiding role of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, and boost our consciousness of the need to maintain political integrity, think in big-picture terms, follow the leadership core, and keep in alignment with the central Party leadership. We must stay confident in the path, the theory, the system, and the culture of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and firmly uphold Comrade Xi Jinping's core position on the Party Central Committee and in the Party as a whole and uphold the Central Committee's authority and its centralized, unified leadership.
We will carry forward the spirit of the Games, forge ahead determinedly, set the stage for the 20th National Congress of the CPC with concrete actions, and work tirelessly to build a modern socialist country in all respects and achieve the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation.
Representatives of the Chinese sports delegation, volunteers, and the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games gave speeches at the ceremony. They include: Ni Huizhong, director of the Winter Sports Administration Center under the General Administration of Sport of China; Yang Hongqiong, para cross-country skier and biathlon athlete; Yuan Weiting, student from School of Journalism, Hebei Normal University; and Zhang Suzhi, executive deputy director of the Yanqing Operation Center of the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games.
Prior to the ceremony, Xi and other leaders had a cordial meeting with representatives of groups and individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the Games, as well as all members of the Chinese sports delegation, and posed for a photo.
Members of the CPC Central Committee Political Bureau and members of the Secretariat of the CPC Central Committee in Beijing, vice chairpersons of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, state councilors, the President of the Supreme People's Court, the Procurator-General of the Supreme People's Procuratorate, as well as vice chairpersons of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference and members of the Central Military Commission in Beijing also attended the ceremony.
About 3,000 people took part in the event. They include leading officials from all central departments, the leading group for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics and its relevant agencies, the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games, and the governments of Beijing Municipality and Hebei Province, all members of the Chinese delegation for the Games, as well as representatives of working staff for the Games, the media and volunteers.
Xi Jinping and other Chinese leaders pose for a photo with representatives of groups and individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics, as well as all members of the Chinese sports delegation, prior to a gathering to honor those who have made outstanding contributions to the Games at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, April 8, 2022. (Xinhua/Liu Bin)