In competition with Almaty (Kazakshtan), the city of Beijing has been chosen to organize the 24th edition of the Winter Olympics. But due to its typology, not all events take place in the Chinese capital, which had already hosted the Summer Olympics in 2008.
As fourteen years ago, the opening and closing ceremonies take place at the National Stadium, better known as the “Bird’s Nest” for its architecture. Several sites in Beijing, already used in 2008, will be used again, in particular for the ice sports events. The Capital Sports Center will host figure skating and short track speed skating, the Wukesong Sports Center and the National Sports Center will host ice hockey matches, while the National Swimming Center will host the curling and that the national ring will be used for long track speed skating.
The other events, however, will be held in two mountainous areas located several kilometers from the Olympic Village in Beijing. The Yanqing area, 90 km northwest of the Chinese capital, will host all alpine skiing competitions, but also bobsleigh, luge and skeleton. The Zhangjiakou area, even further from Beijing, since it is 220 kilometers away, will organize cross-country skiing, ski jumping, Nordic combined, biathlon, snowboarding and freestyle skiing.
To deal with the lack of natural snow cover, which had given rise to numerous criticisms when the host city of these Winter Olympics was designated, the organizing committee has built a whole network of underground artificial snow to be able to guarantee the smooth running of competitions.
In order to connect these remote sites and make them more accessible, China has also built a high-speed line between Beijing and Zhangjiakou, which entered into service two years ago. It connects Beijing Railway Station to Zhangjiakou in just 47 minutes, compared to a trip of more than 3 hours before the construction of this line.