February 6 - A successful Summer Youth Olympics in Nanjing later this year will boost the prospects of Beijing staging the Winter Games in 2022, it was predicted today.
Yang Weize, the Executive President of Nanjing 2014, made his claim here today after updating the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on progress of his event, which is due to open on August 14.
He claimed a memorable Summer Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing would underline confidence in China's ability to host a major event and could lead to Beijing being the first city awarded both the Summer and Winter Games.
"I believe that will happen", he told insidethegames.
"China has the history of delivering a successful Beijing Games [in 2008] and if Nanjing can deliver a successful Youth Olympic Games, we will have very strong foundations and a good reason to bid for the Winter Olympic Games".
"It will be a pity if Beijing were to miss the chance to hold the Winter Games".
Weize also outlined how strong general Chinese commitment to the Olympic Movement is - with the Youth Olympics described as "one of the key works of China from the central authorities.
"As you can see, our President Xi Jinping is coming to Sochi for the Winter Olymypic Games," he added.
"This shows the respect, enthusiasm and support of both the Chinese leader and the Chinese people to the Olympic Movement.
"Several months ago when [IOC] President Thomas Bach came to China, President Xi said that China would uphold all commitments to the IOC to deliver a successful Nanjing Games.
"The people are all keen to see how, with the experience and lessons from Beijing 2008, Nanjing in this new era can deliver a more successful sports Games."
Although he admitted there are several areas in which work is required - with integration, controlling the cost and budget, and the openness of internet and services three particular areas of focus - he is "confident that we can sort out these problems".
"We're about to enter the operation readiness stage and we are almost ready - with most of the infrastructure and facilities completed", Weize told insidethegames.
"We are implementing plans and policies according to the IOC schedule.
"Just now the IOC Coordination Commission said they feel satisfied with our progress - so in the final months out focus is how to provide good service and how to integrate the various functions all together."
He hailed last August's Asian Youth Games as a vital opportunity to "make us aware of potential risks and not repeat the problems we've encountered" - adding that his team, staff and volunteers were all now more experienced as a result of this opportunity.
With a nod to its youth focus, Weize also claimed Nanjing 2014 would be a "new kind of Olympic Games" which will be more adaptive to the needs of youth and focused particularly on cultural and educational elements.
This is a theme that has been stressed by the IOC and was emphasised in December with the announcement that demonstration events would be held in the "youth orientated" sports of roller skating, skateboarding and sport climbing during Nanjing 2014.
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