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OCA praises Sapporo 2017 policy, preparations


21 Feb 2017
Sapporo, Japan, February 21, 2017: The Honorary Life Vice President of the Olympic Council of Asia, Mr Wei Jizhong, feels that Sapporo 2017 is setting a fine example for future host cities. Mr Wei, who has been Chairman of the OCA’s Coordination Committee for the 8th Asian Winter Games, overseeing the preparations for Sapporo 2017, told a press conference on Tuesday that local organisers had created a new benchmark.

The two key factors, he said, were:

*No new construction of venues, only renovation of existing stadiums and infrastructure, and no unnecessary expenditure.

*The staff and workforce is 100 per cent Japanese, working together with the OCA and leaving a legacy of experienced sports event specialists, especially ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

“Until now, everything is running smoothly,” Mr Wei told the press conference at the Main Media Centre for Sapporo 2017. “I went to Obihiro yesterday (Monday) for the speed skating and it was a very, very high level. At least eight records were broken in four events, and the competition site was full of spectators. At least 30 per cent of the spectators had to stand because there were not enough seats,” said Mr Wei.

“This means that Japanese people like winter sports and cheer the athletes, so congratulations to the organising committee and to the people of Hokkaido, Sapporo and Obihiro.” Mr Wei said that the OCA was following the policy of the International Olympic Committee to reduce costs, and looked ahead to the 18th Asian Games in Jakarta-Palembang, Indonesia, in August 2018, when at least 13 sports will be held in 10 halls of a vast exhibition centre.

“We did not ask them to build a new one,” said Mr Wei, emphasising that this is the way forward for host cities to reduce costs.
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