If You’re Going To The 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, Could You Please Bring Some Snow?
Congratulations to Beijing, which was chosen by the International Olympic Committee to be the host of the 2022 Winter Olympics. Of course it should be pointed out that Beijing won after every other nation had withdrawn their bids more than a year ago -- with the exception of Almaty, Kazakhstan.
So that's like winning the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show when the only competition is a large rabbit.
As a result, the outdoor portions of the Olympics will be held here: in the Yanqing Mountains, whose most notable feature is that they are more than 50 miles from Beijing. Oh, and also, there is no snow.
The picture you see above was taken last January, about two weeks before the Winter Games would be starting in 2022. Bring your shorts. Business Insider:
Mountain events will be split between two different clusters. Alpine skiing and sliding will take play in Yanqing, about 55 miles from Beijing. Freestyle skiing, snowboarding, and the Nordic disciplines will take place in Zhangjiakou, which is about 100 miles away.
The average snow depth in Yanqing is 5 centimeters, with a minimum depth of 1 centimeter. The IOC included two photos of what the Yanqing Mountain looks like for its bid evaluation.
"The Zhangjiakou and Yanqing Zones have minimal annual snowfall and for the Games would rely completely on artificial snow," concluded the bid evaluation. "There would be no opportunity to haul snow from higher elevations for contingency maintenance to the racecourses so a contingency plan would rely on stockpiled man-made snow."
The jury is out on whether this will impact the actual competition. But it's going to look like hell -- or as the IOC is saying, "May not be aesthetically pleasing."
But the bigger picture is this: No other city wanted the Olympics. The IOC desperately wanted a democratic nation to host in 2022, but either none made a bid, or they pulled out. Most worrisome was the cost of putting on the Games. Oslo, Norway, withdrew its bid in Oct. of 2014, and would have been the likely choice.
Here's why. The estimated budget for the 2022 Games is $3.9 billion -- and that's with Beijing cutting back dramatically. For instance, they will reuse much of the infrastructure from the 2008 Summer Olympics. Russia spent $50 billion on the 2014 Sochi Winter Games.
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