China’s winter resort town Zhangjiakou, near Beijing, has attracted several skiing events after winning the bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics. The latest one, held by the International Skiing Federation, has taken China’s skiing season to new heights of popularity.
This is the first ski season since Zhangjiakou won the bid to hold the Winter Olympics. The FIS Points Race China and the Far East Cup Race attracted more than 200 athletes from countries such as Korea, Russia and Japan.
“I say this is very high level competition, the condition is good, snow is good, and so is the preparation. I think China is ready for Olympics,” said Vladislava Bureeva, Russian competitor.
“I think because of the Winter Olympics, for competitions like this, the facilities are getting better,” Korean competitor Choe Jeong Hyeon said.
The competition is held in Chongli, a winter resort that will hold most outdoor events in the 2022 Winter Olympics. As it quickly builds up its reputation, it has attracted more events, both domestically and from abroad. Many are focused on training young athletes.
“Of course we are aiming for the top prize, we are doing our best,” said Zhang Yangming, Chinese athlete.
Apart from professional races, tourism is growing fast. In the first month of this ski season, Chongli attracted more than 200,000 tourists; 30 percent more than last season. The Chongli International Ski Festival will last for five months, until April next year.
The winter Olympics is still years away. But all the preparation efforts have well been underway. This is because the town cannot wait to present the world its role as the most popular winter resort in North China.