Beijing will have enough snow for 2022 Winter Olympic Games, official says
Beijing will have enough snow, natural or manmade, for the 2022 Winter Olympics, an official from the Beijing Organizing Committee for the 2022 Olympic Winter Games (BOCOG) said on Saturday.
Chang Yu, the director of media and communications department of BOCOG, told reporters at a press conference, "We don't have a lot of snow in Beijing's urban area, but luckily, those venues in this area will not be affected because they are for ice events and opening and closing ceremonies."
The snow sports will be held in north Beijing's mountainous Yanqing District and Zhangjiakou of Hebei Province.
"In Yanqing, the average annual snowfall is about 53 milimeters and that of Zhangjiakou is 39. We will have enough water resources (to make snow). We are preparing relative technologies to keep up with IOC requirements. "
Yanqing, located 74 kilometers northwest of central Beijing, will host five events including Alpine skiing, bobsleigh, skeleton and luge while Zhangjiakou, 180km away from Beijing, stage snowbarding, freestyle skiing, cross country skiing, ski jumping, nordic combined and biathlon.
The snow used for Winter Olympic Games is normally manmade. At least 98 per cent of the snow for the Pyeongchang Olympics is fake although the annual snowfall here is about 152 milimeters, almost three times of Yanqing.
Chang also said that Beijing will express the "message of welcome" through an eight-time segment at the closing ceremony of Pyeongchang Olympics Sunday night.
The show, directed by renowned film producer Zhang Yimou, will convey two key messages, Chang said.
"First, it will send a cordial invitation to the world inviting everyone to participate in and pay close (attention) to Beijing 2022. Second, we want to show the audience a new era in China."
Zhang, who was in charge of the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, said at the press conference that the eight-minute segment will be filled with high-tech elements.
"The methods of delivery now AI (artificial intelligence) will be an element, interacting with the real human actors," he said.
"I personally believe it will be unique," Zhang said. "The Internet will be used for the interaction between the Chinese people and the rest of the world. About 60 million people, or rather their image, will be part of the performance. Of course, the essence of our traditions will be included."
The 68-year-old, who has given the world arguably "the greatest-ever opening ceremony in the history of Olympics" in 2008, said he is ready for the show after two months of rehearsals.
"I'm a little bit concerned with the weather, that's the only concern I have. I hope that the weather will be nice and not too windy so everybody will deliver a perfect performance."