Islamabad: The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will vote for the host city of the 2022 Olympic Winter Games on July 31. After being shortlisted as one of the candidate cities in July last year, Beijing has spared no effort in its preparations, which brought tremendous benefits to the city’s inhabitants through the promotion of winter sports, improving air quality and economic development.
Wang Anshun, mayor of the capital and president of the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games Bid Committee, said there are more than 100 ski resorts in Beijing, which will attract more young people to take part in winter sports.
The bidding process will help change the current situation, in which China performs better in the summer sports than in winter events.
“In recent years, Olympic winter sport has gained increasing popularity in China,”said Wang Hui, deputy secretary-general of the Beijing bid committee. Beijing-Zhangjiakou’s joint bid has attracted the interest of people, especially teenagers, to participate in winter sports.
“It is conducive to curbing air pollution and adjusting industry for the sake of public health.”
“Beijing has introduced regulations on air pollution control and clean air actions (2013-17)”, said the mayor in his interview to People’s Daily, adding that the five-year investment is estimated to reach $130 billion and the total amount of coal consumed will decrease from 23 million tons in 2012 to below 10 million tons by 2017.
As a result, a series of air control measures have achieved tangible results. Data shows that in the first half of 2015, Beijing saw 23 clear sky days, 7 more than the same period last year, and suffered 16 heavy pollution days, 9 less than last year.
The bid also helps seek sustainable development for the city and coordinated development of Beijing, Tianjin and HebeiProvince, said Jiang Xiaoyu, vice president of Beijing Olympic Games Development Promotion Association.
According to Zhao Pengfei from People’s Daily , taking rail transport in Beijing as an example, light rail and subway lines reached over 500 kilometers in 2014 from 200 kilometers in 2008 and 54 kilometers in 2002. By 2020, it is estimated to surpass 1,000 kilometers.
“Beijing and Zhangjiakou’s joint application to host the Olympic Winter Games conforms to the national strategy of integral development of Beijing, Tianjin and HebeiProvince,”Wang Anshun stressed, adding it will help speed up development of infrastructure, accelerate urbanization and control air pollution.
Pushing winter sport can increase employment and improve people’s living standards. “A total of about 600,000 job opportunities will be created through the development of culture and tourism in the region.”said the mayor.