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CORONAVIRUS IMPACT ON BEIJING 2022 WINTER OLYMPICS

The Covid-19 pandemic has had an impact on the build-up to the Games and snowsports in general.  Preparations, though, are still on track as the country gets back to work. And back to skiing. PlanetSKI reports.

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Government advice

UK Government advice

The construction of venues for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics remains ‘on track’ despite the coronavirus outbreak, officials have said.

They claim all the venues in the Beijing, Yanqing and Zhangjiakou hubs will be complete by the end of the year.

Work was disrupted but 96% of the workers are now back at 24 projects.

Numerous sporting events have been postponed or cancelled in China, including an Alpine Skiing World Cup in Yanqing last month.

This was due to be the first official Beijing 2022 test event.

Alpine centre Yanqing - photo Beijing 2022

Alpine centre Yanqing – photo Beijing 2022

“We will try our best to push forward the preparations for Beijing 2022 amid the fight against the virus and make sure the preparations are done in time and up to standard,” said the Vice Mayor of Beijing, Zhang Jiandong.

He is also executive vice president of Beijing 2022.

The winter ski season in China, where interest in the coming Winter Olympics was expected to grow, has been hit hard.

Short-term ski industry losses amid the coronavirus outbreak could exceed eight billion Yuan, or $1.1 billion, the government-published, China Daily, has said.

The number of people who went skiing in China this season fell by almost half according to an industry report, the newspaper said.

It had been forecast to grow sharply.

“The sudden virus situation has frozen the market, caused huge losses and hit the entire sports sector with a huge blow,” said the deputy director of the General Administration of Sport of China’s sports economy department, Peng Weiyong.

“For instance, the operation of outdoor winter sports venues around the country is facing a tough financial challenge, with most of them forced to shut down during the best season of the year.”

Wanlong Ski resort, China

Wanlong Ski resort, China

Some ski areas, both inside and outside, are now re-opening.

According to a recent newsletter from the International Ski Federation (FIS), Guangzhou and Kunming indoor ski centres have re-opened.

They are said to be operating with a restricted number of guests and other anti-virus  initiatives.

Harbin Snow World 24, the world’s largest indoor snow centre, located in the north-eastern province of Heilongjiang is reported to be re-opening shortly.

Harbin indoor snow centre, China

Harbin indoor snow centre, China

It is a varied picture for the outdoor areas as winter is ending anyway and so many are not re-opening.

Some ski resorts in areas of China not hit by the virus re-opened in late February or early March.

RELATED STORIES

Next year sees the Freestyle Ski, Freeski & Snowboard World Championships in Zhangjiakou.

The 2021 Organising Committee has released the official logo of the event.

The logo is composed of elements representing mountains, ramps, snowflakes and Dajingmen, which is the only gate of the Great Wall of China.

Logo for 2021 freestyle world champs

2021 Freestyle Ski & Snowboard World Championships

The rolling mountains, one of the most conspicuous topographical features of Zhangjiakou, share their outlines with courses and the Big Air Venue.

Zhangjiakou is widely known as one of the top 10 ice and snow tourism cities of China.

The golden snowflake represents Zhangjiakou, the host city where the Genting Snow Park stands, and the blue one for Shijingshan where the Shougang Park is located.

 

 

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