POSTED: Friday July 3rd 2015
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Experts highlight Yanqing as a perfect host for Winter Olympic events

Mr. Wang Hao of China Academy of Engineering: “I have devoted my whole life to researching water resources. Yanqing is a perfect choice for the Winter Olympics.”

Yanqing's Foyukou water reservoir - one of five in Yanqing - has a capacity of 2.05 mil cubic meters ©Beijing 2022
Yanqing's Foyukou water reservoir - one of five in Yanqing - has a capacity of 2.05 mil cubic meters ©Beijing 2022

A Yanqing resident shovels his front walk after heavy snowfall ©China Daily
A Yanqing resident shovels his front walk after heavy snowfall ©China Daily

Beijing, July 3 - In the spirit of the Olympic Agenda 2020, designing a Winter Olympic Games that is oriented towards long-term sustainability is one of the three core values behind Beijing's bid for the 2022 Olympic Winter Games. Yanqing County of Beijing - the Games zone that will host alpine skiing, bobsleigh, luge and skeleton events at Beijing 2022 - was a "very carefully chosen" location, according to Beijing 2022 Bid Committee spokesperson Wang Hui, as well as a number of experts in areas ranging from weather to water resources.

Ideal geological and weather conditions, abundant supply of water for snowmaking, and pre-existing regional development plans were among the key reasons to choose Yanqing as a host location.

Yanqing is situated north of Beijing city in a picturesque location which features both an access to the Great Wall of China and sprawling mountains. As it is technically located within the border of the Beijing municipality, it is "understandable that some might think Yanqing experiences the same winter weather that Beijing does," says Beijing Climate Center Director Wang Ji. "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."

The purpose-built venues for alpine skiing will be built at about 6,880 feet above sea level in Yanqing's Xiaohaituo Mountain, which fully meets the International Olympic Committee requirements for alpine skiing, bobsleigh, luge and skeleton. Mr. Wang Hao, who is the honorary president of the China Institute of Water Resources and academician of China Academy of Engineering and has published over 300 academic papers on water preservation (most of which in northeast China's Haihe River Basin, where the Games zones are all located), said that Beijing 2022's Opening Ceremony would fall on the 85th day of Yanqing's 140-day frozen period, "giving it enough time to accumulate a sufficient amount of ice and snow for the Winter Games."

Yanqing is the "perfect" choice for hosting the winter sports events such as alpine, Mr. Wang Hao said, as it is currently possesses "the most abundant water resources" amongst all of Beijing's districts and affiliated countries. Yanqing is located in a basin with a relatively independent geographic location that contains five different water reservoirs: The largest, Guanting, has a capacity of 4.16 billion cubic meters; Medium-sized Baihepu reservoir contains 100 million cubic meters.

Mr. Wang pointed out that the total amount of water required for snowmaking is 186,000 cubic meters, accounting for a mere 0.34% of the water used each year in Yanqing County. As Mr. Wang said, he and his fellow water resource academics have agreed that there will be "no concerns" about whether hosting a Winter Olympics would put pressure on water supplies in the area.

In addition to Yanqing's five water reservoirs that are currently in existence, the county plans to build another six smaller reservoirs in the Xiaohaituo area connecting Foyukou reservoir with Xiaohaituo Mountain. Mr. Wang Hao pointed out that this is a previously planned project not designed for hosting the Games but rather to develop the regional economy.

These pre-existing regional development plans are all part of Yanqing's long-term strategy to develop itself into an area that supports ecological tourism as well as an on-the-rise winter sports destination, helping to strengthen Yanqing's attraction to tourists from all over the world before and beyond the Games, enhanced by Yanqing's immediate proximity to downtown Beijing. According to Madam Wang Hui at the Beijing 2022 Bid Committee, over 400 thousand tourists visited Yanqing for winter-related activities last year, and it predicts the 2022 Games would attract 1.35 million people.


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