Skiing puts Zhangjiakou on the map
Updated: 2014-11-10 09:52
By Zhang Yu(China Daily)
Zhangjiakou has 82 trails ski resorts to meet the demand of both amateurs and professionals. Li Dengyun / for China Daily
City will host snow-related events if it wins joint bid for 2022 Winter Olympic Games with Beijing
Zhangjiakou in Hebei province launched a joint bid with Beijing to host the 2022 Winter Olympic Games and they are now competing with Almaty in Kazakhstan in the final round of the selection process.
The International Olympic Committee will announce the winner in July next year.
Should the Chinese bid win, Zhangjiakou will host most of the snow-related events.
Zhangjiakou's Chongli county, where most of the snow events will take place, has an average annual snow thickness of 1 meter.
It begins to snow in late October and the season lasts through to the following April. The skiing period meets the international standard for the Winter Olympics.
Besides, artificial snow is available if there is insufficient natural snow.
The county's average temperature in winter is -12 C, which also meets the requirement for the Winter Olympics.
Chongli began developing ski sports in 1996. In the summer of that year, Shan Zhaojian, the first national skiing champion of China, came to Chongli looking for a place where skiing races and other skiing activities could be held. His visit changed the fate of Chongli.
In the following years, the county gradually constructed four world-renowned ski resorts: Wanlong, Genting, Dolomiti, and Changchengling.
The county will hold the Winter Olympic events if the bid succeeds. These include ski jumping, snowboarding, freestyle skiing, Nordic combined, biathlon and cross-country skiing.
At present, the county has a total of 82 trails for beginners, intermediate and advanced skiers. All the trails meet the international standard for sports events, and eight of them have gained recognition from the International Ski Federation.
According to a blueprint for developing snow-related industry, the county will have 228 ski trails by 2020.
Relying on these resorts, Chongli county has successfully hosted ski festivals for 13 consecutive years, attracting participants from all over the world.
The county has also held about a dozen international level skiing competitions, which have helped it gain rich experience in this field.
Other supporting facilities such as hotels and restaurants will be expanded near the resorts in the future. By 2020, the daily reception capacity of the county is expected to reach more than 20,000 people.
An area of 3.5 square kilometers is reserved for future exploitation, in case the Winter Olympics needs more infrastructure.
Shan Zhaojian says he chose Chongli not only because it is close to Beijing and there is an expressway linking the two places, but also because the topography of Chongli is suitable for skiing.
"And because it boasts a large forest area which contributes to a good ecological environment," Shan adds.
In September, Zhangjiakou was officially given the title of "National Forest City" by the National Afforestation Committee and the State Forestry Administration. The title is the highest honor in China for a city's ecological environment.