Wagner Group Sport Seminar

Wagner Sport Management

On 15 March 2019 a Wagner Group Sport Seminar, one of the regular Wagner groups of EMBA in sports, with 4 professional sport managers from Holland; Chinese students and professors from the University also listened and asked many questions in the Q&A.

Location was Beijing Sport University in Haidian. Organizer Prof. drs. Philip Wagner.
Topic: “A(nother) view on China – Sport in China – China’s challenges”
The talk included details on the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, sports in China (soccer, skiing, ice skating, and more). Duration of some 90 minutes.

Hotpot dinner

After the talk we had a hotpot dinner in the well-known Haidilao Restaurant, in the nearby Hualian Mall. With lots of beer!
This time I was assaulted by noodles!

Talking about Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics

See also:
Beijing 2022 and Swiss Italian Television and Radio

On 27 August 2015 evening in Haollee Café (Sanlitun SOHO) I was invited by Sino-US.com for one of their Speaking & Networking Events. Sino-US.com is an English language news and information portal based in Beijing.

See their report on the talk here:

The topic was:

Winter Olympics 2022: will Beijing respect its commitments for the environment?
Are the 2008 Olympics any indication of what we can expect?
A look back at the environmental issues for the 2008 Olympics actually provide an insight, even if from an unexpected angle. The 2022 Olympics raise concerns that Beijing will fail to reach acceptable air quality, will manage the water and snow-making challenge and will destroy natural parks. What can we expect? Is China to be trusted?

I was interviewed by China Radio International before the talk.
A couple of my friends attended as well as people closely involved in the environmental issues, who explained some of their reservations during the Q&A session, a lively and interesting debate.
The selection of Beijing for the Winter Olympics has met with some resistance. The counter arguments were the air pollution in the Beijing area, the location in protected natural reserves and potential damage to soil, flora and other. Beijing has promised to address the issues.
I also gave a demo of the LaserEgg of Origins, to measure ambient PM2.5.
After the presentation some of us went to a Chinese restaurant nearby, with a nice dog resting in the entrance… Unusual in Beijing.

Beijing 2022 and Swiss Italian Television and Radio

This time a TV interview in my office by RSI, by Laura, Saturday 1 August 2015. We had to clean up a bit our Chinese antique warehouse, read, our office.
Theme: Beijing was just selected the previous day for the 2022 Winter Olympics.
While the interview was time ago, still relevant to give some details.

Questions were directed at the environmental impact, also looking back at the 2008 Olympics. As 2008 clearly proved, controlling the pollution levels required drastic and one-time measures. After 2008 pollution only got worse and now the Chinese government has no choice but to tackle the problem head-on. It will require some time as the needed changes are not so easy to implement. The integration of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei area, the reduction of industries within the city, the clean-up of polluting industries in Hebei, the reduction of population in Beijing, the new green belts around Beijing, and so on: it will require time to implement it. I remain confident that by 2022 pollution levels will be pretty lower.

As for the issue of water, I also hope the city will continue to make efforts, to save water, to bring in water from South China, to fill up the reservoirs feeding the city (most are at low levels as described in my book Toxic Capitalism). Water is needed to make snow as the skiing areas have too little snow if any. Actually most skiing areas around the world face the same problem, except for Switzerland. So, the issue is not limited to Beijing. Chinese people start loving the sport and only stricter environmental rules can make that the water is recycled, trees are planted, ski slopes are maintained without further destruction of the soil structure, fauba and flora. I am modestly optimistic that Beijing will more or less succeed here too.
As usual in China, we need to wait and see that promises are kept.
As for the venues, see here a nice recap from Wikipedia & others, see also the maps from SCMP

Beijing Cluster

  • Bird’s Nest – opening and closing ceremony
  • Capital Indoor Stadium – figure skating, short track
  • Wukesong Sports Centre – main ice hockey venue
  • National Indoor Stadium – second ice hockey venue
  • Water Cube – curling
  • National Speed Skating Oval – speed skating

Yanqing Songshan National Forest Park, Xiaohaituo Mountain – Yanqing Cluster

  • Xiaohaituo Alpine Skiing Field – alpine skiing
  • Xiaohaituo Bobsleigh and Luge Track – bobsleigh, luge and skeleton

Taizicheng Area in Chongli County, Zhangjiakou – Zhangjiakou Cluster

  • Kuyangshu Biathlon Field – cross-country skiing, Nordic combined
  • Kuyangshu Ski Jumping Field – ski jumping, Nordic combined
  • Hualindong Ski Resort – biathlon
  • Genting Ski Resort – snowboarding (slopestyle, halfpipe), freestyle skiing
  • Taiwu Ski Resort – snowboarding (cross), freestyle skiing
  • Ski Resort – snowboarding (parallel slalom)


Better not to run a marathon with these running shoes

Quality issues in China can be both puzzling and disappointing.
Puzzling because it is hard to believe a brand like ASICS has such poor quality. I bought those in an “official shop” in Beijing but one can wonder: are they real or fake?
The model, here pictured, is ASICS TN238, “Made in China”. Fortunately I use those exclusively in the gym. The sole parts have been falling of several times. As it happened in the gym I was able to find them and glue them back myself. See here the latest one to fall of. Seems the glue they used must have a serious quality problem. Otherwise the running shoes are fine.

Now just imagine you are running a race with those, like a marathon. That would be a near disaster.

Talking about China and sports

Once again I welcomed a group of Dutch sports professionals who are visiting Beijing. The trip is organized by the Wagner Group (see www.wagnergroup.nl). The group is following an MBA in sports management.

This time my presentation not only included a short and personal introduction of what is China today, but also a look back at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, how it was prepared, how it went and what its legacy is today.
One of the key problems in China is the lack of mass sports: soccer, rugby and similar suffer from a shortage of players and grassroots clubs. Soccer has been plagued by scandals and corruption. A city like Beijing has only one club worth mentioning and China is nowhere in the World Cup. It is also a result of the lack of sports in the education system, due to too much emphasis on studying. As a result, the levels of obesity and myopia (80%!) among college students is alarming. The government is aware but there are many problems to change the attitude among parents and schools. And there is a great shortage of teachers qualified for physical education.