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China boasts a long history of winter-related activities

By Bruce Connolly | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2022-01-31 08:40
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Ski Jump under construction at Shougang Park Beijing 2019 [Photo by Bruce Connolly/chinadaily.com.cn]

Wangfujing in downtown Beijing is one of the city's well-established shopping streets. Presently, outside Beijing Department Store a tall digital sign counts down the days, minutes and seconds until the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games open. People stand in front of it to be photographed. It reminds me of one such large clock that 14 years ago heralded the approach of Beijing 2008 Olympics. Both represent significant, prestigious moments for the city and indeed China.

I have been fortunate to have been in Beijing for both events. To be out with my camera photographing Olympic-related activities and promotions along with reactions of the people. This year of course is different due to measures aimed at containing the COVID virus from spreading. However, the games will be beamed worldwide showing not only the beauty of mountainous areas north of Beijing but also of how so many people have really taken up the idea of winter sports in a really big way. It's something I'm looking forward to seeing.

Looking back at 2015, I recall some reactions when on July 31, 2015, the International Olympics Committee (IOC) at their 128th session announced Beijing will host the 2022 Winter Games. The first time in Olympic history a city would hostboth summer and winter sessions along with the Paralympics! Quite an achievement.

There were questions of Beijing's, indeed China's, suitability as a winter sports destination.

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