POSTED: July 3rd 2015

Beijing 2022: Yanqing labeled as perfect host for Winter Olympic events by experts

Yanqing's Foyukou water reservoir - one of five in Yanqing - has a capacity of 2.05 mil cubic meters and offers an abundant supply of water for snow making © Beijing 2022
Yanqing's Foyukou water reservoir - one of five in Yanqing - has a capacity of 2.05 mil cubic meters and offers an abundant supply of water for snow making © Beijing 2022

A Yanqing resident shovels his front walk to clear the snow © China Daily
A Yanqing resident shovels his front walk to clear the snow © China Daily

MARISSA FLANDERS (USA) / Sports Features Communications

(SFC) One of the three core values behind Beijing 2022 is to design a Winter Olympic Games that is oriented towards long-term sustainability. Beijing wants the spirit of Olympic Agenda 2020 to shine throughout their bid plans for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games. Keeping this in mind, Beijing selected Yanqing, a County of Beijing, as the Games zone that will host skeleton, bobsleigh, alpine skiing, and luge events. According to Wang Hui, Beijing 2022 Bid Committee spokesperson, along with many experts in areas ranging from water resources to weather, Yanqing was a "very carefully chosen location."

Yanqing has an abundant supply of water for snowmaking, pre-existing regional development plans, and ideal geological and weather conditions, which make it a perfect host location.  

Situated north of Beijing city, Yanqing features sprawling mountains and access to the Great Wall of China, which makes it a picturesque place. Honorary President of the China Institute of Water Resources and academician of China Academy of Engineering, Wang Hao stated that Yanqing is the "perfect" choice to host winter sports events and that out of all of Beijing's districts and affiliated countries it currently possesses "the most abundant water resources." Hao has published more than 300 academic papers on the subject of water presentation, which most of were in northwest China's Haine River Basin. Yanqing is also located in a relatively independent geographic basin that contains five different water reservoirs. Baihepu, a medium-sized reservoir containing around 100 million cubic meters. Whereas, Guanting, the largest reservoir has a capacity of 4.16 billion cubic meters.  

Furthermore, the total amount of water required for snowmaking is 186,000 cubic meters, which accounts for only 0.34% of the water Yanqing County uses each year, according to Wang Hao. Hao and his fellow water resource academics agree that there will be "no concerns" about the added pressure the Winter Olympics would put on water supplies in the area.

The County also plans to build six smaller reservoirs in the Xiaohaituo area that would connect Xiaohaituo Mountain and Foyukou reservoir. Hao pointed out that is a project that was already planned and designed to develop the regional economy and not for hosting the Games.

Yanqing's pre-existing local development projects are all part of their long-term strategy to develop itself. A policy that supports ecological tourism, along with strengthening Yanqing's attraction to tourists from all over the globe as an on-the-rise winter sports destination. A destination for all before and beyond that Games, enhanced by the proximity of downtown Beijing. According to Madam Wang Hui at the Beijing 2022 Bid Committee, last year over 400 thousand tourists visited Yanqing to take part in various winter-related activities. It's projected that the 2022 Games will bring in around 1.35 million people to the Yanqing area.

In fact, Yanqing is technically located within the Beijing municipality border, so it is "understandable that some might think Yanqing experiences the same winter weather that Beijing does," stated Wang Ji, Beijing Climate Center Director.

Wang Ji added, "However, conditions are quite different. Although Beijing doesn't see that much snow in winter, the county consistently sees snowfall in its mountainous regions, where snow can be maintained for as long as 140 days."

In addition, the purpose-built venues for alpine skiing will be built in Yanqing's Xiaohaituo Mountain and will be about 6,880 feet above sea level. All the sites will meet the requirements laid out by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for the skeleton, bobsleigh, luge, and alpine skiing events. Wang Hao commented that the possible day for the Opening Ceremony for Beijing 2022 would be on the 85th day of Yanqing's 140-day frozen calendar, "giving it enough time to accumulate a sufficient amount of ice and snow for the Winter Games."

Wang Hao concluded, "I have devoted my whole life to researching water resources. Yanqing is a perfect choice for the Winter Olympics."

** MARISSA FLANDERS is a graduate of Saint Leo University with a Bachelor's Degree in Sport Business. She has over four years of writing experience and has a real passion for ice hockey following the Pittsburgh Penguins on her blog

Keywords · Beijing 2022 · Yanqing · Olympic · Olympic bidding

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