With snow and a temperature drop expected in Beijing and Zhangjiakou this weekend, the Beijing 2022 Organizing Committee (BOCOG) said that it is taking multiple measures to ensure the smooth operation of the Games, and the health and safety of all personnel despite extreme weather conditions.
"We have to respect nature and try to guarantee the scheduled competition of the Games, but at the same time we will ensure the safety and health of the athletes, staff and volunteers," said Zhao Weidong, spokesperson of BOCOG on February 9.
To better prepare for extreme weather conditions, BOCOG will work on a more accurate weather forecast, Zhao said.
"Weather forecasters will share the weather statistics with the technical experts from International Federations (IFs), who will in turn determine whether it is necessary to reschedule some of the events, and how.
"In general, the snow would not affect the schedule. Should there be extreme weather conditions we will coordinate with the IOC (International Olympic Committee), IFs and OBS (Olympic Broadcasting Services)."
Meanwhile, the Games venues are also ready in terms of snow removal, ice removal, protective supplies and anti-skid. "I'd like to remind journalists to bring warm clothes," he added.
To ensure that injured athletes get medical treatment as soon as possible during the Games, BOCOG has set up a professional and high-level medical team, noted Huang Chun, deputy director of the epidemic control office of BOCOG.
"At present, there are health centers in all three competition zones with 138 first aid stations on site and 98 ambulances on standby at the venues to ensure that the injured athletes can be transferred to the hospital immediately," Huang said.
According to Huang, the medical staff are all from major hospitals in Beijing and Hebei Province, while equipment and treatment procedures are all certified by the IOC.
"Once an athlete is injured, we will check with their team doctor immediately and treat them on site. If they need to be transferred to a hospital, we will arrange ambulance to take them to designated medical facilities. We have 41 such facilities, with the nearest in five-minute drive from the venue, and the farthest a 27-minute drive away."