Beijing 2022 Coordination Commission chair Alexander Zhukov will miss the planned inspections of the Zhangjiakou and Zanqing zones as he is returning to Moscow later today for a "very important" meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin tomorrow.
Zhukov, President of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC), will be absent for the remainder of the first International Olympic Committee (IOC) Coordination Commission visit, including the closing press conference.
The delegation will be led by IOC vice-president Juan Antonio Samaranch when Zhukov departs.
The members are due to head to the Yanqing zone, due to stage Alpine skiing, bobsleigh, skeleton and luge, to inspect preparations tomorrow.
They will then visit the cross-country skiing, ski jumping, biathlon and Olympic Village sites in Zhangjiakou, located around 190 kilometres and three hours by road from the Chinese capital, in the afternoon, before they complete the second half of the tour of venues in the third cluster by visiting the freestyle skiing and snowboard facility on Wednesday (October 12).
The reason for the meeting in Moscow which Zhukov has been summoned for has not been revealed.
"I unfortunately myself will not be able to visit the beautiful regions of Zhangjiakou and Yanqing as I must return to Moscow for a very important meeting with our President and Parliament," Zhukov, the first vice-chairman of the State Duma, said during the opening remarks of the first meeting between the Coordination Commission and Beijing 2022 representatives here.
The ROC President was full of praise for the Organising Committee’s work so far, but warned there would be "many bumps"on the road to the Winter Olympics and Paralympics in 2022.
"I have no doubt that we will reach our destination," he said.
"But I also know that there will be many bumps in the road ahead.
"Organising the Games is never an easy task.
"Many of you know how hard it can be from your experiences with the 2008 Beijing Games.
"But we also know that, with commitment and determination, we can overcome any obstacle.
"And that the benefits of a successful outcome are well worth the effort it takes to achieve them.
"You are off to a fast start, with many of the initial elements for success in place."
The first visit, which has been attended by all of the Coordination Commission members, as well as representatives from the world of winter sports, including International Ski Federation secretary general Sarah Lewis, began with a tour of venues closest to Beijing.
This included the Beijing Olympic Tower, the National Indoor Stadium, which will host ice hockey, and the National Aquatics Centre.
Various IOC officials told insidethegames how impressed they were with the facilities following the tour, though the majority of those are existing venues from the Beijing 2008 Olympics, including the National Aquatics Centre - the Water Cube - which will play host to curling.
The National Speed Skating Oval, set to hold speed skating events, is perhaps the largest construction project in the Beijing cluster.
It is due to be completed by 2019, according to Beijing 2022.
A series of presentations were also given by Chinese officials on a wide range of topics - governance, legacy and sustainability, sport, commercial, communications and engagement and infrastructure.
Beijing won the right to host the Games at the 128th IOC Session in Kuala Lumpur last year, narrowly defeating only rival Almaty by 44 votes to 40.