World Olympians Association President Joel Bouzou is set to take part in events at the virtual OLY House being established for Beijing 2022 ©Getty Images

The World Olympians Association (WOA) has opened "OLY House" for Beijing 2022. 

They have described it as "a destination for Olympians of all ages, nations and sports during the Games."

Ordinarily, this is a building in the host city where Olympians are encouraged to gather during the Games, but the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the initiative to go online.

"OLY House offers the opportunity for you to join together during these Winter Games," WOA President Joel Bouzou said.

 "We hope you enjoy OLY House Beijing 2022, the place for Olympians to celebrate the Games and reunite with one another."

Events include an "Olympians for Life" award at which five Olympians will be inducted.

This will be hosted by Jamaican bobsledder Chris Stokes, a member of the 1988 Olympic team which inspired the hit film Cool Runnings.

The award honours athletes "who have drawn on their Olympic experiences to make the world a better place by promoting the Olympic Values at every stage of their lives".

The online event is due to be attended by International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach and WOA President Joel Bouzou.

An online platform will also invite Olympians to "leave their mark with an online autograph".

Olympians are then invited to view a virtual map which shows where nearly 300 Olympians have already signed up.

It is also encouraging Olympian organisations around the world to organise reunions for their members. 

"Beijing is an opportunity for all of us to come together, be inspired and celebrate the amazing achievements of Olympians," WOA urged.

The site also encourages Olympians to sign up for "Be OLY" which gives them the right to use the letters OLY, a "Post Nominal" which can be employed in the same way as other letters recognising a doctorate after the name.

They can be used on stationery as well as on social media.