Beijing or Alma-Ata is yet a question to be answered on July 31st when the hosting city of 2022 Winter Olympics Games will be determined in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. But China’s Beijing 2022 officials and experts have been confident in the qualification of Beijing and Zhang Jiakou, a co-host city, for the 2022 Winter Games.
Beijing and Zhang meet all the requirements for 2022 Games in environment, traffic and venues, as experts stated on July 28th.
“We have seen an significant increase in the air quality both in Beijing and Northen China since 2013”, said Song Qiang, head of Beijing Municipal Research Institute of Environmental Protection. In an effort to tackle air pollution, Beijing has upgraded its coal-fired heating system in urban areas to natural gas heating system and closed down heavy-polluted plants. Neighboring city Tianjin and provinces including Hebei have taken similar approaches to give Beijing a boost. “So we can expect even better air quality when the year of 2022 comes”.
Lack of natural snow was considered as a disadvantage for Beijing 2022 bid, but Song said it wouldn’t be a challenge as a certain amount of artificial snow would be added if the weather was not ideal for the games. And the technology, with one machine being able to provide 20 tons of artificial snow, is advanced enough to meet the requirements. In addition, the water resources in Zhang Jiakou is abundant, so the snow wouldn’t be a problem.
Moreover, traffic wouldn’t be a challenge either as Beijing 2022 promised a high-speed railway traffic which would take the athletes less than 70 minutes to travel from Beijing Olympic Village to Chongli Olympic Village. "Exactly 52.5 minutes is the travel time from Beijing to the competition venue, of course it will take time to get on and off the train," said Wang Xiaotao, Deputy Director of National Development and Reform Committee. “Seven International Federations including FIS have made clear that the trip-distance is absolutely acceptable”, Wang continued.
Apart from that, the train, which links Olympics Village and venues, would also be a mobile office for journalists to report and interview, said Wang Hui, Director of the Press and Communications Department of the Beijing 2022.
More importantly, the venues are relatively centralized as Beijing are supposed to host the ice sports and Zhang Jiakou and Yanqing are supposed to host the snow events. Besides, the legacies of Beijing 2008 will remarkably support Beijing 2022 in venues supply as 11 the venues built for Beijing 2008 would be reuse and only an oval needs to be constructed ahead of the competition.
Overall, Beijing's bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics has offered China a precious chance to promote winter sports and encourage more people to participate in ice and snow events.