China is continuing to gear up for the Beijing Winter Olympics in 2022 and this week welcomed the World Winter Sports Expo 2017 to the country’s capital city.
Delegates from across the globe attended the exhibition and conference to learn about ongoing developments in winter sports.
China’s latest Development Plan for Winter Sports (2016-2025) suggests that the population of Chinese people participating in winter sports is undergoing rapid growth.
During the 2016-2017 snow seasons the number of ski resorts increased by 14% from 568 to 646 and skier visits increased by 21% from 12.5 million visits to 15.1 million.
The government also forecasts the construction of some 500 new skating venues bringing the total to 650. Another 240 new ski resorts are planned, bringing the total to 800.
Against this backdrop, China is pushing forward with its efforts to host the Winter Olympics in four years’ time.
Risto Nieminen a member of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics Committee told delegates:
We all understand that China will achieve her goals and we have to build the winter sports culture behind it. It is about the long term. We have to keep up the sustainable elements. We’re not building anything that does not have a plan as a facility for the future.
President of the International Olympic Committee Thomas Bach recently visited the Beijing 2022 headquarters praised the “steady progress” in Games preparations and efforts in sustainability.
The headquarters is located in a former steelworks and the huge industrial area in the west of Beijing is being renovated into an eco-friendly office and recreation park by using a series of green technologies.
Bach was happy about Beijing 2022’s sustainable plan to utilise existing facilities and renovated industrial buildings. He called the “benchmark architecture” of Beijing 2022 headquarters “worldwide avant-garde.”
Bach also toured the Wukesong Sports Centre and the proposed site for Snowboard Big Air.
Wukesong was the basketball venue of Beijing 2008. It will be used for women’s ice hockey in Beijing 2022. The conversion between a basketball court and an ice hockey rink can be completed in six hours.
The proposed site for Snowboard Big Air is next to a cooling tower near the Beijing 2022 headquarters.
For the Loympics in 2022, five ice events will be held at the Olympic center, the Capital Indoor Stadium and the Beijing Wukesong Sports Center, which were some of the main venues of the 2008 Summer Olympics.
Competitions for luge, bobsleigh and alpine skiing will be held in the Xiaohaituo Mountain area in Yanking, 90km northwest of Beijing, using artificial snow.
All other skiing events will be held in Taizicheng Area in Chongli, Zhangjiakou, 220 km from Beijing and 130 km from the Xiaohaituo Mountain Area.