Rural communities embrace winter sports spirit ahead of Beijing 2022 Winter Games

World Today

The 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing are less than four years away and preparations are shifting into high gear. Some venues from the 2008 Summer Games will be reused, but new facilities are also being built. CGTN’s Wei Lynn Tang went there to see how people are preparing.

It’s a typical summer day in Beijing, but indoors, the Yanqing community is gearing up for the 2022 Winter Olympics, on a Sunday, no less.

A group of doctors, nurses and medical practitioners are undergoing training in roller skating before moving on to a ski simulation machine, all in hopes of being able to volunteer as medical support staff for the 2022 Games.

Yanqing District will be one of the three-game zones for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. Located 74 kilometers northwest of downtown Beijing, the mountainous area will host events like Alpine Skiing and Bobsleigh.

The medical team’s lead trainer, who is a general practitioner himself, believes the group will be able to meet the professional standards necessary in four years’ time.

“We are confident. It is our pride to be able to contribute to the Winter Olympics events that will be held in our village,” said Geng Xuan, a Yanqing Medical Worker. “While our medical service and support system isn’t very complete yet, we hope to gain enough from our training that, even after the games, we will be able to use what we’ve learned in providing medical support for alpine skiing… and to pass these skills on in the future.”

Beijing’s successful bid for the 2022 games has transformed lives across Yanqing district.

Lang Enge was previously a sheepherder, but due to environmental reasons and spurred by the Winter Olympics, he established a farmers’ ski team a year ago. 

“Whether it’s in an economic sense or in terms of ideals, I have seen my health improved, and opened up perspectives in the way I interact with people and manage things,” said Lang Enge the Team Leader of Haituo Ski Team. “We hope to train more people to ski, for them to fall in love with it, and from within turn it into a career, such that even after the Winter Olympics are over, they are able to work as in coaching or other related areas.”

As part of its plan to promote winter sports culture in the runup to the Games, the Chinese government has committed to drawing 300 million people onto the ice and snow by 2022.

People in Zhangshanying town in Yanqing District have commended the local government’s support in providing free coaching to farmers and also to children who love skiing and show potential to learn.

“In the past, I used to work just because. But now it’s to fulfill my dream… which is the Winter Olympics,” Guo Junhua the Founder, Star of Haituo Children’s Public Welfare Ski Training Camp. “Having been a ski coach for 10 years, I hope to be able to train and cultivate a future champion in this children’s team.”

Construction has begun at the Yanqing venue cluster of sporting facilities, which will include the National Alpine Ski and Sliding Center.

Mike Bako discusses the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing

CGTN’s Elaine Reyes discussed preparations for Beijing’s 2022 Winter Games with Mike Bako. He’s a Sports Managing Editor at