- Title: CHINA: CHINA IS DETERMINED TO WIN THE BID FOR THE 2010 WINTER OLYMPICS
- Date: 4th July 2002
- Summary: HARBIN, CHINA (FILE) (REUTERS) SNOWY MOUNTAINS PEOPLE SKIING
- Embargoed: 19th July 2002 13:00
- Location: BEIJING AND HARBIN, CHINA
- Country: China
- Topics: Sports
- Reuters ID: LVAAV743TU23EINHDEPUMBEF47XY
- Story Text: China has said it is determined to win the bid for the 2010 Winter Olympics in the northeastern city of Harbin.
Already riding the crest of a sporting wave, China is moving to beef up its role in the world of sport - bidding for the 2010 Winter Olympics.
In recent months, China has gone sports-mad - winning the 2008 Summer Olympic bid and celebrating its first ever gold medal success at the Salt Lake City Games.
Now, Harbin city officials are gearing up to meet the challenge of seven other cities worldwide who are vying for the 2010 Winter Olympics.
At a news conference in Beijing on Thursday (July 4), Wang Zuoshu (pron: Wang Zwo-shoo), Executive Chairman of the Harbin 2010 Bid Committee, said he was confident that Harbin could meet the challenge.
"Our city is large in scale, we have already have enough facilities, such as skating rinks, and exercise facilities.
Our basic infrastructure is in the first stage of preparation," said Wang.
Harbin is up against seven other cities - Vancouver (Canada), Sarajevo (Bosnia), Salzburg (Austria), Bern (Switzerland), Jaca (Spain), Andorra La Vella and Pyonghcang (South Korea).
Wang said even if Harbin failed at its first attempt, it would pursue its dream.
"If the International Olympic Committee does not approve our application, we will still apply for the 2014 and 2018 Winter Olympics. We will try our best to apply," said Wang.
Wang promised a clean and corruption-free bidding process.
"Right now we're doing our best to do everything that the IOC demands. We will strictly obey the IOC rules, we will not be involved in any underground activities," said Wang.
The last Winter Olympics, staged in Salt Lake City, were overshadowed by allegations of illegal gifts which resulted in the resignation of four IOC members and the expulsion of six.
The icy northern city of Harbin has long been famous as a winter wonderland - its freezing temperatures making it a perfect launch pad for winter sports in China.
In recent years, a number of ski resorts have opened in Harbin - catering to China's growing middle class.
The city - which bears the imprint of years of Russian influence - also plays host to an annual ice sculpture festival.
The decision on the 2010 Winter Olympics will be made in July 2003.
- Copyright Holder: FILE REUTERS (CAN SELL)
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None