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UPDATED: February 25, 2014 NO. 9 FEBRUARY 27, 2014
Beijing 2022
After hosting the Summer Olympics, China's capital now has its eye on the winter equivalent
By Yuan Yuan

BY THE BIRD'S NEST: A snow carnival near the National Stadium in Beijing (CFP)

One of Beijing's most well-known landmarks, the Bird's Nest, also known as the National Stadium, is gearing up in the hope that it will have the opportunity to host Olympic events once more in 2022—but this time in winter.

"By hosting the 2022 Winter Games, we hope to fulfill the dream of hosting both the Summer and Winter Olympics in the same city," said Yang Xiaochao, Vice Mayor of Beijing, at a press conference in Sochi, Russia, on February 8. Yang is also vice chairman of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics Bidding Committee.

There has never been a city to host both summer and winter games in Olympic history.

On November 3, 2013, China's capital announced the joint bid to host the 2022 Winter Olympic Games together with Zhangjiakou, a city with a ski resort that lies some 200 km northwest of Beijing in the neighboring Hebei Province.

This is the second time that a Chinese city has bid to host the winter Olympics. Harbin, in China's northeastern Heilongjiang Province, failed to make the shortlist for the 2010 Winter Olympics' host city back in August 2002. The privilege eventually went to Vancouver in Canada.

"Promoting winter sports in China, and supporting the Olympic spirit have always been our guiding principle," said Yang Shu'an, Vice President of the Chinese Olympic Committee. "We are bidding for the 2022 Winter Olympics in a responsible manner."

When speaking at a press conference in Sochi on January 7, Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), welcomed Beijing's Winter Olympic bid. "It is a concept that could motivate millions of people in the region of Beijing and beyond to practice winter sports and there would be excellent facilities," he said.

The IOC will select the host city for the 2022 Winter Olympics at its 127th Session in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on July 31, 2015.


Beijing's Olympic legacy is boasted as its biggest advantage.

"After the 2008 Summer Olympic Games, Beijing has been building itself into an international sports center and fully utilized its Olympic venues to stage international events one after another," Yang Xiaochao said. "So the city's ability to hold competitions remains in effect, which is the most favored advantage for Beijing in its bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics."

Yang pointed out that the Winter Olympics is smaller in scale than the Summer Olympics, and that athletes, coaches, officials and media present at Winter Olympics total just over 10,000, which is only equal to the number of athletes alone at Summer Olympics.

Only three out of the 12 planned competition venues would need to be built, Yang revealed.

According to a plan announced by Yang, if Beijing wins the bid, it will build three relatively compact Olympic venue clusters. The Capital Gymnasium and the MasterCard Center in the west of downtown Beijing will hold competitions for the five ice rink-based sports including figure skating, short track speed skating, speed skating, curling and ice hockey. The opening and closing ceremonies will be staged in the National Stadium.

Temporary venues will be built in the Xiaohaituo Mountain area in Beijing's suburban Yanqing County, which is about 90 km northwest of the city center, for sports such as bobsleigh, luge, skeleton and alpine skiing.

Other skiing sports will be held in Zhangjiakou's Chongli County.

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