Virtual Smart Cities & Sport Summit 2020 explores sports & sustainable city development

By Wang MengJi Ye

BEIJING, Oct. 29 (Xinhua) -- The virtual Smart Cities & Sport Summit 2020 concluded on Thursday after three-day sessions on issues including sports and sustainable development of cities, empowering the youth and gender equality in sports.

"Sport is contributing to the recovery from the COVID-19 crisis on the health, the social, and the economic fronts," International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach said in his opening remarks.

"This summit is sending an important message. Sport is ready to contribute to rebuild a more human-centered and inclusive society."

Under the support of the IOC, the World Union of Olympic Cities was established to ensure and promote sustainable legacies of the Olympic Games by facilitating an ongoing dialogue between former and future host cities of the Olympic Games.

The Union has been holding annual meetings since the first in 2008 and this year also virtually during the Smart Cities & Sport Summit, which was inaugurated in 2014 to include more cities who are interested in the role of sports in city development.

During this year's Summit, General Secretary of the Beijing Olympic City Development Association Fu Xiaohui shared the experience of hosting the Olympic City Cup Beijing World Minor Hockey Invitational Tournament, and welcomed clubs from participating cities to join the event in the future.

According to Fu, the tournament, which was held annually from 2016 to 2019, was launched to enhance exchanges among the youth, to learn from countries strong in winter sports and to promote the sport in China. Themed cultural activates were held alongside the competitions.

The event has attracted top teams including Sodertalje SK from Stockholm, the California Golden Bears from Los Angeles, the Eisbaren Juniors Berlin from Berlin, and the Jokerit from Helsinki. All participants come from Olympic cities.

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