Beijing, Feb 21  The International Olympic Committee (IOC) expressed its gratitude to the Beijing 2022 Organising Committee for successfully conducting the Olympic Winter Games amid Covid-19 protocols and despite controversies over human alleged rights violations and diplomatic boycott.

The IOC organised a thank-you event at the Big Air venue in Shougang Park in Beijing on Monday to express its gratitude to the Chinese authorities.

During the ceremony, the Olympic Order in Gold – the IOC’s highest honour for individuals – was presented by IOC President Thomas Bach to Sun Chunlan, Vice Premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China, responsible for the anti-COVID management of the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022, and Cai Qi, President of the Organising Committee for the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022, the IOC informed in a report on its official website.

In addition, Thomas Bach presented the Olympic Order in Silver to some senior officials of the organising committee who made significant contributions to the delivery of the Games.

The IOC’s Beijing 2022 Coordination Commission Chair, Juan Antonio Samaranch, took the opportunity to thank the thousands of Beijing 2022 workforce and volunteers, many of whom have been living inside the closed-loop while delivering the Games.

He said, “You and all your teams have done incredible work to tackle the different challenges. You have always been responsible, responsive and efficient to all our requests. Thanks for your strong commitment and dedication. You ensured that these Olympic Winter Games were memorable.”

President Qi, from the Organising Committee, concluded, “As the first city to host both summer and winter Olympic Games, Beijing 2022 will go down in history. We will continue to work with the IOC to spread the Olympic spirit, enhance inclusiveness and mutual understanding, promote friendship and solidarity, and jointly shape a better future.”

Though the IOC gets credit for getting the Games organised successfully, it has faced severe criticism over its silence on issues like alleged human rights abuses by the Chinese, the alleged suppression of Uyghur Muslims and the general denial of fundamental rights in China.

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