A Beijing bid spokeswoman has defended China's application to host the 2022 Winter Olympic Games, telling a news conference in Kuala Lumpur that snow won't be a problem for the capital and co-bidder Zhangjiakou if they are awarded the right to host the Games, the Beijing Times reported.
"Having deep snow does not guarantee a successful Winter Olympics, in addition you must also have the capacity to receive guests, organize the Games, to provide facilities for tourists and have strong security arrangements which was proved at the 2008 Summer Olympics," Wang Hui said. "In the unlikely event of extreme weather conditions we have the capacity to rely entirely on artificial snow-making facilities and comply with all snow requirements".
Chairman Wei Qinghua of China Mountain Development Co Ltd, has spent the past 13 years working on the design, planning, construction and operation of both Wanlong and Genting Ski Resorts in Zhangjiakou's Chongli county. "The average temperature during our 150-day skiing season is -12 degrees centigrade, with level 2 wind speed. Normally, each winter we see one small snowfall every three days, one medium-sized snowfall every 10 days and one large snowfall each month," he said.
Beyond Chongli's natural snowfall, the expert said its cold winters and solid ground also provide ideal snowmaking conditions.
Wang said one machine is able to produce 20 tons of snow per hour. Snow making will only take 0.3 percent of current water supply in Zhangjiakou and the ski resort stores water during the summer months, she added.
She said European experts who visited Zhangjiakou found it suitable for winter sports, with a dry climate allowing snow to retain its shape and having a three-zone cluster of facilities was feasible for the games.
"There is no need for concern," she said, adding that the distance between venues was not a negative factor. "If you look at the history of previous Winter Olympics, 50 minutes from an ice sports venue to a snow sports venue is not the longest.
"China is a big country with a huge population and an increasing number of young people having a strong desire in sports, so the three-zone concept is much more aligned in the long term with the sustainable use of the venues.
"For China, the end of the Games would be the beginning of many years of sustainable and healthy use of the venue legacy".