The new issue of Focus China is online and it's dedicated to the upcoming Olympic Games in Beijing 2022 and Chinese investments in the winter sports sector.
Click here to read the full focus
On February 4, 2022 Beijing will become the first city in the world to host both editions of the Olympic Games, just fourteen years after presenting itself on the international scene with the most expensive summer Olympics in history, surpassed only by the winter ones of Sochi. Since then, however, times have changed and the Chinese authorities' goal is to spend a tenth of the summer edition - almost $ 4 billion against the 43 billion of the 2008 edition - despite, in addition to the Chinese capital, two other main offices are involved for the events. This is Yanqing County which is part of the Beijing municipality and will host the alpine skiing competitions at Xiaohuitao, a newly built track. The county of Yanqing, however, is already an important tourist resort because about 30 km from the Olympic track is Badaling, one of the most important access points to the Great Wall. The second Olympic site outside the capital is Chongli, an area that is part of the Zhangjiakou administration, one of the largest cities in the Hebei province. In Chongli, which is located over 200 km from Beijing, all the skiing activities will take place, excluding alpine skiing. The goal of these two sites is to promote winter tourism even after the end of the games, a plan that Chongli is following at a rate of growth of 30% more tourists every year.
The recurring theme for events in the city of Beijing, on the other hand, is the reuse of existing structures, especially those made for the 2008 games. The Olympic stadium - the "Bird's Nest" - will be the venue for the ceremonies of opening and closing and indoor events will be held in buildings readapted for the occasion. For example curling competitions will be held in the iconic Olympic swimming pool. As for the new facilities, a skating hall will be added for speed skating in the Olympic area and old industrial complexes will be re-designed for free style competitions.
Given the great distance between the three Olympic sites, the role of infrastructures is central. The main project is the Beijing-Zhangjiakou Intercity Railway high-speed line, which should cover almost 180 km in 50 minutes thanks to a new generation of automated trains. The inauguration is scheduled for the end of 2019, around the same time as the new Beijing Daxing International Airport, which aims to become the largest in the world and reduce the pressure on Beijing's current main airport. Beijing Capital, in fact, is today the second busiest airport in the world, but is now saturated despite the construction of the futuristic Terminal 3 dates back only to 2008.