WEDNESDAY, February 28, 2024

Former Argentine Olympian gives thumb-up to organization of Beijing 2022 Winter Games

Former Argentine Olympian gives thumb-up to organization of Beijing 2022 Winter Games

Former Argentine Olympic cross-country skier Ines Alder praises Beijing 2022 as a showcase for China's organizational know-how and rich culture.

The Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics are a showcase of both China's organizational know-how and rich age-old culture, according to former Argentine Olympic cross-country skier Ines Alder.

Alder, who competed for the South American country in four events at the 1992 Winter Olympics held in Albertville, France, said Beijing's opening ceremony wowed viewers with fireworks, scientific, technological and environmentally-friendly innovations, and a spectacular show produced under the direction of Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yimou.

"I enjoyed watching the ceremony because China has tradition, mysticism and an ancient culture," Alder said in an interview with Xinhua on Tuesday.

"The ceremony ... had everything," she said, adding "I watched the whole thing and then I watched it again a couple of more times."

Alder and her family are diehard Olympic fans, getting up in the middle of the night in Argentina to watch the games, due to the time difference with Beijing.

Argentine delegation marches into the Bird

"We postponed several outings to stay at home, where we have a better Internet signal compared to outdoor places and be able to closely follow the events," said a smiling Alder.

Alder and her husband, Jorge Dal Farra, have a special reason to follow the games closely, as their son Franco Dal Farra is in Beijing as a member of the Argentine delegation, competing in cross-country skiing.

The opening ceremony brought together delegations from 91 countries and regions at Beijing's striking National Stadium, better known as the "Bird's Nest," and turned China's capital into the only city ever to host both winter and summer (2008) Olympic Games.

Franco Dal Farra led the Argentine delegation into the arena, as one of the two flag bearers, along with Francesca Baruzzi, who is competing in alpine skiing.

"Watching the ceremony was very moving... seeing him there was very exciting, we had the feeling that Franco was enjoying it," Alder said, adding "Franco's eyes said it all."

Argentine athletes are competing in four sports: Baruzzi and Tomas Birkner in alpine skiing, Dal Farra and Nahiara Diaz in cross-country skiing, Veronica Ravenna in luge and Victoria Rodriguez Lopez in speed skating.

"Franco traveled and is getting to know, interact with, meet members of delegations from South America, the representatives of Chile, of Brazil. The Olympic Games have a social and cultural aspect, in addition to sports," said Alder.

The Winter Games run until Feb. 20.