The 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics may have not even started yet, but I'm already looking forward to 2022. From figure skaters, snowboarders, and bobsledders (oh my), the Winter Games are always a dazzling event. Unfortunately, all great things must come to an end, so for all you Olympic junkies wondering where the next Winter Olympics are, get your bags packed for Beijing, China.
On July 31, 2015, Beijing was awarded the prestigious honor of hosting the 2022 Olympics after narrowly beating out Almaty, Kazakhstan 44 votes to 40. Beijing was the host city for the 2008 Summer Olympics, and their role in 2022 will make them the first city to host both Olympic games, according to Gizmodo.
Though the announcement of the games taking place in Beijing came in 2015, the official emblem for the 2022 Olympics wasn't unveiled until Dec. 15, 2017. Designed by artist Lin Cunzhen, the emblem was made as a nod to traditional Chinese culture through its influence of the Chinese character for "winter," according to the Olympic games website. International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach discussed the unveiling of the 2022 symbol as an important moment for both China and the future Olympic games in the announcement for the emblem. He said,
The emblem is a symbol of ambitions and dreams. It will build excitement and anticipation in China and around the whole world for our shared goal of an outstanding Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022.
Beijing's past experience as a host city should help make 2022 Olympics successful, and using their past infrastructure will lessen the likeliness of venues and stadiums being forgotten. However, there has been some confusion as to how well the ecosystem will serve the Winter Games. According to Business Insider, the future skiing events will take place around Yanquing Zones, which was reported to receive "minimal annual snowfall."
Not like snow is really necessary with skiing, right?
According to Business Insider, the average snow depth in Yanquing is five centimeters. The International Olympic Committee posted two photos of the Yanquing Zones on Jan. 20, 2015 and Jan. 23, 2015, just days before the Winter Olympics typically start.
Well, there was no snow.
Don't worry, we're not crazy for thinking this is a problem. The IOC has even expressed their concern about the arid ski slopes in their 2022 evaluation commission published on June. 1, 2015, which said,
The Zhangjiakou and Yanqing Zones have minimal annual snowfall and for the Games would rely completely on artificial snow. 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. Beijing 2022 presented weather data from 2014-2015 indicating a particular risk for Yanqing in terms of the quality and quantity of snow.
But never fear, ski fans, the show must go on. If it appears there will be no snowfall for the 2022 Olympics, Beijing plans to use manufactured snow during the competition, according to the Los Angeles Times. In fact, they're already well on their way in attempting to make China an international ski capital. Andy Wirth, president of Squaw Valley Ski Holdings in Tahoe told the Los Angeles Times that he estimates that from 2015 through 2022, there will be an increase of Chinese skiers that will rival both North America and Europe.
But who said the Olympians get to have all the fun? For those loyal Olympic fans who won't be hitting the slopes, a number of winter resorts are underway in China to prepare for the herd of people expected to roll through come 2022, according to Reuters. This isn't only because of Beijing hosting the future Winter Games, but also due to the increase of tourism among skiers in China. Currently, China holds more than 700 ski facilities throughout its nation. While this may mean good news for visitors and Olympians, many are concerned about what will become of these facilities and resorts once the 2022 Winter Games games come to a close.
Either way, the 2022 Winter Olympics are sure to be incredible. Here's to looking forward to the future!