• China is looking for a new breed of winter sports icons.

China is looking for a new breed of winter sports icons. (Photo : Reuters)

Atop the barren mountainside, a small flag tenders the location where China hopes to host the 2022 Winter Olympics. However, hosting the Olympics would mean a giant leap for China.

As of the moment, the cold valley in Hebei Province is a provincial community with approximately 100 households. Peasants loaded with firewood on their shoulders are about the only sign that this rural community is populated.

Like Us on Facebook

Beijing's bid document stated that the site can be loaded with 30 gold medals for skiing events and can be the base operation for the Olympic event. The site would be provided with a new bullet train station if Olympics came to town.

Beijing 2022 is currently the front-runner in the Olympic bidding race after the withdrawal of European cities. Beijing is faced with only the Kazakhstan city of Almaty as Olympic venue bidder.

China boasts of cutting-edge outdoor facilities. The lack of snow, which on the maximum snowfall rate is only about 1 meter annually, can me supplemented with man-made carving of skiing facilities in the whole mountainsides, with bold plans of weaving a brand new bullet train in the rugged mountain terrain.

The bid document also stated that if Beijing wins the contract, a spectacular resort will be constructed on Yanqing's Xiaohaitou mountain. This will include an 830-meter ski vertical drop for the downhill ski race. The resort will also be equipped with artificial snow machine. Beijing planning officials plan to make the mountain resort a major tourist destination similar to Tokyo's Fuji.

A bobsleigh track will also be constructed. As of date, China has no bobsleigh infrastructure nor a team to compete in the division. To remedy this, 11 venues from the 2008 Beijing Olympics would be used, including the Water Cube and the Bird's Nest Stadium.