The two co-host cities of the 2022 Winter Olympics should explore their distinguishing features during the games and maintain sustainable development afterward, an expert said.
Du Wei, deputy director of the Beijing-Zhangjiakou Winter Olympics research institute, said Zhangjiakou needs to focus on its local authentic specialties to impress Olympics guests instead of reproducing a cosmopolitan atmosphere like Beijing during Thursday’s China Ski Industry Forum in Chongli county, Zhangjiakou, one of the skiing venues for the 2022 games.
Chongli, 260 kilometers northwest of suburban Beijing and a transition zone between Inner Mongolia Plateau and North China Plain with an elevation from 800 to 2,000 meters, is one of China's top skiing resorts and summer outdoor attractions in summer.
For Zhangjiakou, a prefecture-level city with a population of 4.7 million, the Olympics should mean more than a legacy of improved infrastructure and a symbolic moment of history.
The "water cube", or the National Aquatic Center, one of the main venues of the 2008 summer Games, has been hosting the FINA diving series in Beijing since 2011.
"It should be more than a Zhangjiakou in 2022...the Olympics means a start for long-term process toward a forever-attractive Zhangjiakou," said Du.
Beijing, which in 2022 will become the only city in the world to host both summer and winter Olympics, is expected to gain more soft power compared with its 2008 summer gig, according to Du. It is about human-to-human and human-to-nature relationships. "People will be more well-mannered to others and nature," said Du.
The institute was founded in 2015 to provide policy consultancy and support to government, non-official institutes and sport enterprises in tapping the winter sports market. It has issued a report on Beijing-Zhangjiakou Winter Olympics development biennially since 2016.