Congratulations to South Korea! Just a few days ago Pyeongchang won the bid to host the 2018 Winter Olympics. This will be the second such event taking place in this country after 1988 summer Games in Seoul.  This news made me think – could China repeat the success of Beijing 2008 and organise Winter Olympics, maybe even in twice as short time as Korea had to wait? While China Tours
and China Flights take care of the logistics, let me introduce you to the world of winter sports in China!

With many mountain ranges, China is no short of decent ski resorts. Many serve as a training base for both Chinese and international athletes. China has improved significantly in the Winter Games, winning 11 medals in Vancouver, which gave it the 7th place at the medal tally. Sending a total of 90 sportsmen, it beat the world record in women’s short track speed skating. With the commitment of
all the Chinese, as shown during the 2008 Games, chances are China will stand as a candidate for successive Winter Olympics!

The question remains which city would be the most suitable one to organise the event. The biggest and best ski resort in China is Yabuli Ski Resort. It was already the host of 1996 Asian Winter Games. With plenty of snowfall, it was designed primarily for the experienced skiers. For the Olympics, it could set up a partnership with the capital of Heilongjiang province, Harbin, located ca 180km from the resort. In fact, such project was already thought of! Harbin bid for the 2010 Olympics and organised 2009 Winter Universiade, which indicates that the facilities are there. Harbin is also a hometown to 2010 Vancouver Olympics figure skating gold medallists, Shen Xue and Zhao Hongbo.

One of the natural candidates is of course Beijing. Its experience of recently hosting the biggest sporting event in the world is an unbeatable advantage of the capital. Infrastructure and transportation system are of a high standard. What’s more, two big ski resorts are located just around an hour drive from the city.

Beijing Huabei International Ski Resort, northeast from Beijing, offers a breath-taking scenery – it is surrounded by the Great Wall. With a complete set of hotels and restaurants, it has both skiing and snowboarding facilities. It is the largest such complex in the vicinity of Beijing. Another resort, the Beijing Nanshan Ski Village, is located just around 20km away. It specialises in snowboard (it is actually the place that introduced snowboarding to China!). It boasts the first international standard halp-pipe, snow park and mogul trail in China. With these two resorts at hand, Beijing seems like a perfect candidate for the host!

Another place which has to be considered is Xiling Ski Resort, nicknamed China’s best alpine ski resort. It’s located a bit over 100km from Sichuan province capital, Chengdu, in Southwest China. It has very favourable weather conditions, as, given the high elevation (ca 2,400m above the sea level), the snow is deep and lasting and the temperatures stay low. Nevertheless, it is equipped with an advanced snowmaking system. If the authorities invested in other winter sport facilities, Chengdu could turn out to be a strong candidate as well.

All these resorts have a chance to organise the Winter Olympics in the future. Meanwhile, why not try them out by yourself? Check China Travel for tours.

 

Jack Li
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