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Published on : Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Both the Chinese capital and the northern city Zhangjiakou had applied to represent China in the bid before the COC picked Beijing, the 2008 Summer Games host city, to run for the 2022 Games with Zhangjiakou being a co-host.
In the COC’s plan, Beijing is expected to stage the ice events while Zhangjiakou holds snow sports.
Beijing sports authorities believed their experience in hosting the 2008 Olympics will give them an edge in the 2022 bid.
“The 2008 Olympics has left many legacies to Beijing, which includes experience and sufficient infrastructure,” said Beijing Sports Bureau chief Li Yingchuan.
The Summer Games draws over 10,000 athletes while the Winter Olympics has about 4,000 athletes competing.
Li said Beijing has enough stadiums to stage the ice events.
“Take the Capital Stadium as an example, it has about 10,000 seats,” said Li.
The International Skating Union (ISU) figure skating Grand Prix Cup of China just ended there.
“What we need now is a speed skating venue,” he added.
Zhangjiakou, a city in Hebei Province, located 200 km northwest of Beijing, is also enthusiastic for the bid. The distance between the two cities will not be a problem when the Games comes.
It was announced on Monday that an inter-city express railway is to be built between Beijing and Zhangjiakou. Construction will start on the 174-km line at the end of this year reducing travel time to just about 40 minutes once the railway is in use.
Li said Beijing’s chances would be affected by the fact that Pyeongchang of South Korea is to host the 2018 Winter Games.
“There is a rotation rule, though unwritten, in the bid. Since Pyeongchang won the 2018 bid, Beijing as another Asian city will face a daunting task to beat the odds,” Li said.
Pyeongchang succeeded after three tries and is “a model to follow”, according to Li.
The International Olympic Committee will finalize the candidates list in July, 2014 and select the 2022 host in July, 2015.