POSTED: July 12th 2015
InDepth

Beyond Beijing: Yanqing County - the unknown partner for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Bid


DR. ERIC C. SCHWARZ / Sports Features Communications  

(SFC) The 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games collaborative bid by the cities of Beijing and Zhangjiakou in China has built a lot of stream as it heads towards the selection of the bid city later this month.  However, there is a third and relatively unknown partner that may hold the key to successfully securing the bid.

Yanqing (yan-qing) County - a collection of 11 towns approximately 75 km to the northwest of Beijing, has played a significant role in the bid for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games.  Expected to be the home of the alpine skiing, bobsled, luge, and skeleton events, this area is the 'meat' in the sandwich surrounded by Beijing to the southeast and Zhangjiakou to the northwest.  The ease of travel from both cities to this region - along with it hosting some of the most significant events of the Olympics - makes this county crucial to the successful attainment of hosting the 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games.

While its population of only 320,000 may seems small, their enthusiasm for being a vital part of the bid for the 2022 Olympics is unwavering.  Zhang Suzhi, who is the director of the Yanqing Operation Center for the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games Bid Committee stated "We are looking forward to the winning of our bid... we have been developing our tourism and we will upgrade our infrastructure and also we will include our environment... [and] we hold all these activities with an aim to improve the income of our residents." 

This area is already a tourist destination, as it is the location of the most visited site of the Great Wall of China - the Badaling Section.  Nearly 20 million visitors annually trek to this region of China to visit this wonder of the world.  So these surrounding communities are used to welcoming visitors to the region and providing warm hospitality.

Beyond the Great Wall, Yanqing County is known for its vast natural resources including rolling mountains, lust forests, and scenic rivers for the outdoor enthusiast to enjoy.  Known as the summer escape for Beijing residents, it boasts a 'green' and 'sustainable' atmosphere - with over 70% green coverage in the county and the best air quality in the region.  In addition, the region has heavily invested in new and renewable energy, and was one of the first National Green Energy Demonstration Counties and New and Renewable Energy Demonstration Zones of Beijing.

Could this small region of Yanqing County be the difference in winning the 2022 Olympics bid?  We will find out on July 31 during the IOC Session in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. 

**DR. ERIC C. SCHWARZ is a tenured Senior Lecturer of Sport Management at Victoria University in Melbourne, Australia.  He has been an academician for 15 years in the areas of sport business management, international tourism, and hospitality management - with special focus on the areas of sport marketing, sport finance, tourism, and facility/event management.  He speaks globally and is the author of numerous publications in these areas, as well as been actively involved in consulting projects working with a multitude of sport and community organizations ranging from grassroots efforts to hallmark events.  


Keywords · Beijing 2022; Olympic Games; Yanqing County


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