Games double a 'very proud' feat

Photo taken on Feb 6, 2022 shows mascots to be awarded to winning athletes of the women's snowboard slopestyle final during the flower ceremony at the Genting Snow Park in Zhangjiakou, North China's Hebei province. [Photo/Xinhua]

Beijing's two Olympic Games, staged within a span of 14 years, are testament to China's passion for sports and amazing organizational abilities, Igor Vusurovic, secretary-general of the Montenegrin Olympic Committee, told Xinhua on Tuesday.

As a former professional volleyball player, Vusurovic has fond memories of representing his country at the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics. He says Montenegro's participation in Beijing 2022 has laid a good foundation for the future of winter sports in the Balkan country.

"The impressions of our athletes were that the Olympic villages were spacious and of good quality, well-organized transportation, the hospitality of hosts and the volunteers-so their impressions in that part were great," Vusurovic said.

"The opening and closing ceremonies were impressive, conveying excellent messages. All our participants returned to Montenegro with strong impressions related to the organization and the event itself."

Comparing the 2008 and 2022 Games in Beijing, Vusurovic stressed the lasting memories of the athletes and the hospitality of the host country.

"I had the honor of being in Beijing in 2008 when the Montenegrin team competed for the first time at the Olympic Games. All the athletes came back here full of positive emotions and impressions," he said.

"China has a lot to offer and to show, with its rich history, tradition, and sporting achievements. The beautiful fireworks and impressive messages truly deserve praise."

Vusurovic said that Beijing hosting both Summer and Winter Olympics reflected the passion of the Chinese people for sports and showcased their magnificent organizational ability.

"I know very well what the passion of the Chinese people is for sports because I attended the Games in 2008 when so many people wanted to be present at the competitions," said Vusurovic.

"The IOC awarded the Games to Beijing within a pretty short time frame and this speaks to the quality of the events, venues, the strength of the National Olympic Committee, and human resources-to organize the Games twice in a relatively short period.

"For me, that highlights China as a country of sports and a global power praised for its organizational abilities. The two events complemented each other, and I think China has the right to be very proud of both the 2008 and 2022 Olympic Games in Beijing."

Announcing future plans for winter sports development in Montenegro, Vusurovic revealed that his country will open hundreds of kilometers of ski slopes to attract international tourists and domestic winter sports lovers alike over the next decade.

"In the next 10 years, I expect that we will have 150-200 kilometers of ski slopes, which will certainly lead to an expansion of winter sports in Montenegro," Vusurovic said. "The new highway built by the China Road and Bridge Corporation will connect the capital Podgorica and Kolasin, where there are around 50 kilometers of ski tracks, and Montenegrin people will be able to ski much more."

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