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The bleak, snowless landscape (apart from the fake stuff) that begs the question: Why HAS the Winter Olympics gone to Beijing?

Heard the one about the Winter Olympics that didn't have any snow? If anything sums up the bemusement over China's controversial £2.5 billion Games that begin in a little under three weeks, perhaps it is the absence of the one element central to the event.

One telling statistic is that between January and March last year, the competition venue at the National Alpine Ski Centre in Yanqing, roughly 50 miles north-west of the capital, Beijing, had just 2cm of snow, less than London – or Madrid.

And pictures of the venues tell their own story. The new national ski-jumping centre is certainly impressive – but sits incongruously in a barren landscape of dirty brown hills. It's hardly alpine. (conitnued)

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by Anonymousreply 15January 18, 2022 4:35 AM

As for the snowboarding slope, it has been built in the heart of the city's concrete-clad industrial area, overlooked by the massive former cooling towers of an old steel mill.

Dubious decisions by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in awarding the Games are nothing new.

Nor is artificial snow, which has often been used to top up slopes since the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, New York State.

For the 2014 Games in the subtropical Russian resort of Sochi, 80 per cent of the snow was fake.

But Yanqing, which hosts the alpine skiing, bobsleigh, luge and skeleton, will take the phoney white stuff to new extremes. Using 49 million gallons of water, 300 snow guns will blanket the competition surfaces – despite the regular water shortages that China's parched capital suffers.The athletes seem less concerned. 'The snow is going to be similar to Russia and similar to PyeongChang in the 2018 Olympics. They both had artificial snow in parts,' said Charlotte Bankes, a snowboard cross racer and Britain's best prospect for a gold medal at the Games.

'As riders we need to adapt, but we have all been on it before.'

A bigger concern will be what might happen should a competitor speak out against their host's human-rights record. The diplomatic boycott by Britain and the US has embarrassed the Chinese, and it is unclear how they will react to any activism.

But the IOC and its president Thomas Bach prefer to dodge that debate, citing the political neutrality of their movement – much to the frustration of campaigners.

Human Rights Watch says China wants to 'sportswash' its human-rights record.

A spokesman said: 'These Winter Games reflect President Xi Jinping's efforts to burnish China's image on the world stage and distract attention from the Chinese government's assault on human rights, targeting independent civil society, erasing press freedom and expanding high- tech surveillance.'

by Anonymousreply 1January 16, 2022 7:10 PM

This is going to be a disaster. Omicron just reached Beijing (likely it’s been there a bit already).

by Anonymousreply 2January 16, 2022 7:11 PM

For the authentic won tons, OP.

by Anonymousreply 3January 16, 2022 7:18 PM

Let's start a pandemic and get rewarded for it on the world stage!

by Anonymousreply 4January 16, 2022 7:24 PM

They probably awarded the Olympics to Beijing now because in a few years when global warming gets real bad there won't be enough water to freeze and make fake snow.

by Anonymousreply 5January 16, 2022 7:34 PM

Only shithole China and shithole Kazakhstan were bonkers enough to be in contention for shithole the 2022 Winter Olympic. The IOC kinda lucked out to pick shithole China as you can see the carnage in shithole Kazakhstan now.

But I will not watch any games in this shithole Olympic though. Fuck China.

by Anonymousreply 6January 16, 2022 7:46 PM

[quote]Using 49 million gallons of water

I am willing to continue drinking mud if it will help the Sudanese luge team!

by Anonymousreply 7January 16, 2022 7:51 PM

$$$$$, OP.

by Anonymousreply 8January 16, 2022 7:54 PM

I have to laugh at the picture of the ramp for freestyle skiing/snowboarding that's LITERALLY right in front of 4 nuclear power plant smokestacks. Jesus...

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by Anonymousreply 9January 18, 2022 3:34 AM

Hmm... I guess they're smokestacks from a steel mill (can't read), but my point still stands. What a disaster.

I wonder why China didn't bid with Harbin instead of Beijing. It's actually a winter city.

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by Anonymousreply 10January 18, 2022 3:36 AM

Is it too late to move it to Lake Placid NY?

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by Anonymousreply 11January 18, 2022 3:41 AM

The olympics are another relic that needs to go away.

by Anonymousreply 12January 18, 2022 3:44 AM

But... but... of the poor heroic ATHLETES. 😱

I'd love to see the Olympics cancelled. I don't give two shits about the dreams of people who spend their lives sequestered out of normal society practicing throwing a shotput or speed skating. How will we find world peace if we don't have these events??

by Anonymousreply 13January 18, 2022 3:46 AM

God, is that thing still happening? Nobody watches the Winter Olympics even when we're not in the middle of a plague.

by Anonymousreply 14January 18, 2022 3:56 AM

Agree r13 they need to get real jobs and have sports are hobbies. They’re a bunch of psychos.

by Anonymousreply 15January 18, 2022 4:35 AM
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