Feb 25, 2018
China will host the next Winter Olympics in 2022, and already in the midst of a ski boom, the country is positioning itself as the world’s next ski destination.
- The Chinese Government wants 300 million nationals to take up winter sports
- China plans to have more ski resorts than the whole of Europe
- The 2022 Winter Olympics will be held in Chongli
By the year’s end China will have 700 ski resorts — more than all of Europe — and they are developing young talent to ensure a swag of medals.
The site of the next Winter Olympics at Chongli, almost a four-hour drive north of Beijing, already has top notch resorts to rival the best in Europe and America.
In just two decades China has built 646 resorts and is targeting to have 1,000 by the time the Olympics begin in February 2022.
The new resort of Fulong in Chongli has just opened at a cost of $5 billion.
Its 37 ski runs seem to be well organised and Chinese skiers, mainly from Beijing, are flocking to the site.
At the top of one of the runs one young woman with skis in hand says “skiing is the thing to do — it’s cool and fashionable and good exercise”.
A snowboarder who could be at home on any slope in the world says before he sets off down the steepest run “President Xi [Jinping] has called on us to ski. There will be more and more people. We’ll stick to the party leadership of communism”.
Currently there are 15 million Chinese skiers.
The Government is firmly behind the push toward the sport and has commanded its 300 million nationals to get on the slopes.
Mr Xi has made it a part of his “China dream” as the nation becomes richer and more powerful.
The Communist Party has released a detailed plan to invest heavily in infrastructure, ski facilities and training to ensure success.
When China hosted the summer Olympics in 2008 it was seen as its coming out parade to the world.
The Winter Olympics of 2022 are being billed as China’s crowning glory, where its new prosperity and world leadership will be on display for all to see.
Chongli is ground zero of China’s ski boom. Resorts cannot be built fast enough and the demand for beds and instructors cannot be met, general manager of Fulong Four Seasons, Litao Zhang, says.