Fri, 02 Jun 2023

© Provided by Xinhua

TIANJIN, Feb. 3 (Xinhua) -- After a temporary closure during the Chinese Lunar New Year holiday, the Samaranch Memorial has just reopened around the first anniversary of the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games.

Many visitors were spellbound by a blazing Olympic torch called "Flying," the symbol of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, and displayed at the memorial.

The memorial, located in the northern Chinese port city of Tianjin, has been committed to spreading the Winter Olympic spirit and promoting winter sports in China, according to its founder Wu Ching-kuo.

Established in 2013, the memorial is the only venue in the world authorized by the Samaranch family and approved by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to commemorate former IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch. It houses most of Samaranch's lifelong Olympic collection.

From the exhibition of Samaranch's life, visitors would learn of his affection for floorball, a sport promoted by China's General Administration of Sport for southern cities where ice-and-snow sports are not easily accessible.

During Samaranch's IOC presidency, China successfully won the bid for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, while his son Juan Antonio Samaranch Jr. was involved in the preparations for the 2022 Winter Olympics from the beginning.

"Samaranch would be happy to see Beijing as a dual Olympic city. So the two torches of the two Olympics were lit here for him," said Wu from Taiwan.

According to Wu, Beijing had again presented the world with an unforgettable Olympic Games showcasing the Chinese people's sporting spirit.

The Winter Olympics was a grand sports event and a reflection of China's aspiration to build a community with a shared future for humanity, Wu said.

The Beijing Winter Olympic Games have aroused the enthusiasm of many Chinese for ice-and-snow sports and ushered in a new era of winter sports in the country.

"In the past few years, I have seen many newly built high-standard ski resorts in China. Winter sports have gained popularity, with more than 300 million Chinese people having participated since Beijing won the bid to host the 2022 Olympic Games," Wu said.

The memorial has been committed to popularizing the knowledge of ice and snow sports based on the Olympic values, said Zhang Xiuli, the memorial's deputy director. It has hosted a series of online and offline activities, including an exhibition of the Beijing 2022 Olympic Torch Relay, to enhance people's understanding of the Olympic spirit.

Zhang said that during COVID-19, the memorial launched a series of online exhibitions on social media platforms.

"The memorial will continue to promote the culture of Winter Olympics and winter sports," Zhang added.

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