Photo taken on Feb. 20, 2022 shows the closing ceremony of the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games at the National Stadium in Beijing. [Photo/Xinhua]
On Sunday evening, Beijing bid farewell to the Winter Olympics with a splendid closing ceremony. At the event, the honor of hosting the Games was formally handed over to the Italian cities of Milan and Cortina d'Ampezzo. The ceremony marked what had been two weeks of competitions from athletes all over the world, as well as China's best-ever tally of nine golds and 15 medals overall.
Unfortunately, the mainstream Western media repeatedly tried to discredit and politicize the Games. However, the reality is that the Winter Olympics were an outstanding success, demonstrating China's endeavors and achievements in the face of the challenging circumstances due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
One of the biggest successes of the Games was China's closed-loop management system, which worked resoundingly despite massive Omicron outbreaks around the world. It has allowed a safe, secure, and functional Winter Olympics in the best interests of everyone involved.
Secondly, the Beijing Winter Olympics ultimately sent out a message of peace, hope, and unity across the world, embracing the spirit of the Olympics and showcasing that the world is a better place when working together, embracing common goals, and pursuing peace. These messages were also conveyed in both the opening and closing ceremonies. As the International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach told the media: "This unifying power of the Olympic Games is stronger than the forces that want to divide us," and the athletes that "you not only respected each other: you embraced each other."
Moreover, Bing Dwen Dwen, one of the official mascot characters of the Beijing 2022, will undoubtedly likewise go down as one of the most successful Olympic mascots ever. The loveable round panda in a spacesuit has firmly established itself as an icon in China and beyond, becoming a mass consumer fad. Social media was awash of humorous and adorable clips of the character, with it transpiring into a symbolism of unity, hope, and "togetherness" in the view of China as a whole. Moreover, Bing Dwen Dwen has effectively established itself as the face of the competition, which melted away attempts to politicize, smear and degrade the games.
In summary, the Beijing Winter Olympics will continue to stand as a moment China is proud of, in both the present and the future. With Beijing as the only city in the world to showcase both the Summer and Winter Games, China has, through its preparations, organization, and management, demonstrated itself to be a competent actor, which illustrates the country's great efforts and its control over the global pandemic. This was a moment of triumph, which showcases just how far China has come. The flow and success of the Games speak for themselves, no matter how many times certain actors try to find faults.
Tom Fowdy is a British political and international relations analyst and a graduate of Durham and Oxford universities. For more information please visit: http://www.china.org.cn/opinion/TomFowdy.htm
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