Beijing says is safe choice for 2022 winter Games

Fri Jul 31, 2015 1:17am EDT
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By Karolos Grohmann

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Beijing 2022 winter Olympics bid officials on Friday highlighted the nation's ability to deliver on promises as the Chinese capital, the frontrunner in the race, made its final pitch to the International Olympic Committee on Friday.

Beijing, seeking to become the first city to be awarded both summer and winter Olympics, is up against the Kazakh city of Almaty, who had presented their plans to the 85 voting IOC members earlier on Friday.

The IOC will elect the winner later on Friday.

"We will honor all the commitments," said Chinese President Xi Jinping in a video message at the start of Beijing's presentation. "Let me assure you, if you choose Beijing the Chinese people will stage excellent and extraordinary Games."

China is banking on its extensive Olympic experience from the 2008 summer Games, while also using many of those venues in their winter Games concept.

Among them is the iconic Bird's Nest stadium and the Water Cube as well as media and broadcasting centers within Beijing's Olympic park.

The plan also includes the mountain zones of Yanqing and Zhangjiakou, 90km and 160km away from Beijing respectively though the IOC has highlighted the minimal annual snowfall and the need to rely almost entirely on artificial snow.

China's Sports Minister Liu Peng played down these concerns, saying ski resorts have been operating in Zhangjiakou for two decades.   Continued...

Participants holding Chinese national flags and Beijing 2022 Olympic flags walk past the Birds' Nest, also known as the National Stadium, to attend a rehearsal of a performance in Beijing, China, July 30, 2015. REUTERS/China Daily