Winter Olympics 2022 over: things can only get better

The Winter Olympics in Beijing came to an end on Sunday evening. After the traditional closing ceremony IOC President Thomas Bach handed over the Olympic flag to the mayors of Milan and Cortina, where the next Winter Games will be held in 2026. Europe's press takes stock of the event.

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Aftonbladet (SE) /

Host nation convinced of Games' success

The Winter Games were a success - for the Chinese Communist Party, journalist Ingvar Persson writes in Aftonbladet:

“Of course the last few weeks were a gigantic propaganda demonstration for the regime in Beijing. A regime that systematically violates human rights, oppresses minorities and is increasingly aggressive towards other countries. Perhaps the key objective was not to become more popular with rest of the world. The Chinese leadership needn't worry about that. More likely the aim was to signal success and progress to the people of China. And since the regime controls the news media, I would guess it worked.”

Echo24 (CZ) /

Looking forward to la dolce vita

Beijing 2022 was atrocious, says Echo24:

“The Olympic Games are over, perhaps the worst in history. What they leave behind is not iconic moments of superhuman determination, underdog victories or a wonderful atmosphere. On the contrary, the stadiums were empty and the most talked-about event was the doping of a 15-year-old Russian figure skater. And watching over it all was the totalitarian communist government. ... The next Winter Olympics are to be held in Milan and Cortina. Let's hope that the Italian dolce vita will banish the memories of totalitarian Beijing.”

Frankfurter Rundschau (DE) /

Draw the right conclusions for the future

The Frankfurter Rundschau comments:

“All in all, the Olympic Games seem oversized. Not just because of the gigantism or the lacking sustainability, but because they are less and less in keeping with the times we live in. In any event future organisers of the Winter Games will have to deal with the consequences of climate change, because the snow line is increasingly rising. Regions where winter sports are still possible today will hardly be eligible for them just a few years from now. ... At the 2024 and 2028 Olympics, France and the US can and must show that they have learned the lessons from the criticism of the Winter Games in China.”