The Beijing Organising Committee of the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Games has incorporated legacy throughout the planning process for the Winter Games in Beijing. The Legacy Report was produced by Beijing 2022 in cooperation with Beijing Sport University.
Engaging 300 million people in winter sports
With an ambition to engage 300 million Chinese people in winter sports, Beijing 2022 is facilitating the popularisation of winter sports across China. According to the China Tourism Academy quoted by the report, a record 224 million Chinese people participated during the 2018-19 winter season, exceeding 200 million for the first time in history. The 5th National Public Ice and Snow Season attracted more than 22 million participants, with a total of 1,408 events held across 31 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities.
Positioning China as a new winter sports destination
Beijing 2022 is helping to position China as a new winter sports destination for local and overseas visitors, at both the professional and amateur levels. The National Alpine Ski Centre and the National Sliding Centre in Yanqing are China’s first Olympic-level alpine skiing venue and sliding course. The Yanqing competition zone includes new resorts for winter sports, leisure and tourism, and will operate as a year-round tourism destination after the Games. The Zhangjiakou competition zone in Heibei province is set to become a winter entertainment and summer holiday resort for the general public after the Games.
According to the Beijing 2022 report, investment in the winter sports industry amounted to around CNY 610 billion between 2018 and 2019. Forty new ice and snow resorts and nearly 1,000 ice rinks were built in 100 cities across China. A total of 876 ice sports venues and 644 snow sports venues were in operation in China during 2019. In addition, Beijing provided training programmes for a total of 23,000 winter sports instructors, while Hebei Province offered training to 9,300 instructors.
Creating new employment opportunities
With the development of the snow and ice industry, Beijing 2022 is helping to create new income opportunities. According to the Zhangjiakou Municipal Government, the poverty occurrence rate in Zhangjiakou dropped from 30.24 per cent in 2015 to 0.39 per cent in 2019. In Chongli, a small rural mountain municipality in Zhangjiakou, the poverty occurrence rate dropped from 16.81 per cent in 2015 to 0.038 per cent in 2019.
One in five people from Chongli are engaged in the ice and snow-related industry, according to the report. By the end of 2019, ski resorts in Chongli employed nearly 2,000 local residents, which accounted for over 90 per cent of employees. Hotels in Chongli offered job opportunities to 1,622 people.
Supporting long-term sustainable development
As part of the projects that will benefit the Games, the Beijing-Zhangjiakou High-Speed Railway and the Beijing-Chongli Expressway are already in operation, and major transport lines and passenger-transport hubs in and around the competition zones have been completed, supporting the long-term sustainable development of the region. Zhangjiakou has accelerated the use of new electric vehicles, with 49 hydrogen fuel-cell buses already in operation. The Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Region has also accelerated the development of clean energy to support China’s commitment to achieving carbon neutrality by 2060.
Beijing 2022 has renovated and upgraded six venues from the Beijing 2008 Games to accommodate winter sports. All permanent venues have a sporting and social legacy plan for post-Games use. For example, the Wukesong Sports Centre is the first sports facility in China that can cater for both winter and summer sports, with a transition time of just six hours, enabling local communities to use the venue all year round. The National Sliding Centre, the only venue for bobsleigh, skeleton and luge in China, has a special starting point reserved for the general public, creating a multipurpose venue that can stage major sports events and cater to recreational demand. Beijing Winter Olympic Park, where the Beijing 2022 Organising Committee offices are located, will become a sports, technology and industrial incubator after the Games.