Beijing holds to concept of frugality for Winter Games

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Beijing has entered the final bidding round to host the 2022 Winter Olympics. The International Olympic Committee is scheduled to choose between Beijing, the Kazakh city Almaty, and the Norwegian capital Oslo in a year. Chinese organizers point to the Summer Olympics in 2008, and argue there would be little to build for the capital to be ready for the Winter Games. Our reporter Wu Guoxiu has the details.

Beijing’s iconic Bird’s Nest could host the opening and closing ceremonies of the Winter Games in 2022. If it wins the bid, officials say they’ll hold to the concept of frugality, making the best use of current facilities.

"We won’t build new venues if we can use the old. And if we do build new facilities, they would only be temporary. They just need to meet standards. They don’t need to be very sophisticated or luxurious." Said Jiang Xiaoyu, Deputy Director of Beijing Olympic City Development Association.

All ice sports would be held in Beijing’s urban stadiums, such as the Water Cube. Current stadiums would see a slight renovation, and two new stadiums would be built for speed skating and training events. But the design would be kept simple.

"The venues for the Winter Olympics won’t specifically became landmarks. The aim is really to meet the needs of the games. If they can meet these needs, and at the same time be unique and low-cost, that would be ideal." Said Jiang Xiaoyu, Deputy Director of Beijing Olympic City Development Association.

Beijing is making the bid jointly with Zhang-Jia-Kou city, about 220 km northwest of the capital. All 12 venues for the games will be in three regions: urban Beijing, the Yanqing suburb, and all the way to Zhang Jia Kou’s Chongli County.

The two mountainous areas require several temporary venues and expanded current skiing sites. Transportation would be provided in the form of a high-speed rail built by 2017. It will allow for a 20-minute commute from Beijing to Yanqing, and less than one hour to Chongli.

Beijng is drafting detailed bid files to submit to the International Olympic Committee early next January. It’s also making preparations for the IOC experts’ visit in Feburary or March. And one year from now, at the end of July, we’ll find out if Beijing’s bid for the Winter Olympics has succeeded.


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