The final vote on who will host the 2022 Winter Olympics will be held on the afternoon of July 31. The two cities in contention are China’s Beijing and Almaty in Kazakhstan. We visited Chongli County, where most snow sports will take place in co-host city Zhangjiakou, if Beijing wins the bid.
Ten years ago, Chongli was unknown to most Chinese. Now it is one of the country’s top winter resorts. There are four major ski slopes here, and the fifth one is in the finishing touches and will open soon. Liu Suying runs an inn for tourists. She says Beijing’s Olympic bid has made the county a popular destination.
“The bid for the Winter Olympics has brought more tourists here. It’s good for business. Basic infrastructure is improving fast, and the environment is closely protected. We all hope Beijing wins. We’d be so proud,” Liu said.
Business is also booming for ski stores. Yang Yonggang owns a company that makes ski suits. He says he is confident Beijing will host the Winter Games.
“I’ve come here to ski every year since 2001. We had to drive up the hill and then ski down. Now Chongli is worthy of its title of ‘China’s capital of snow’. The Winter Olympics will really boost winter sports here. I think it will sooner or later be Beijing-and-Chongli, because the surging interest in winter sports is unstoppable now,” Yang said.
Day by day, changes to Chongli are helping the county become more modern and beautiful. The only thing missing now is an Olympic confirmation.
Chongli is already a popular winter resort in China. But winning the bid to host the 2022 Winter Olympics would provide a massive boost to its development. For people here, this is a great opportunity to make Chongli a world-famous holiday destination.