• China is home to top-performing short track speed skaters, figure skaters, and skiers that have won medals and honor for the country.

China is home to top-performing short track speed skaters, figure skaters, and skiers that have won medals and honor for the country. (Photo : www.zimbio.com)

As voting for the venues to the 2022 Winter Olympic Games draws near, Beijing is making assurances that good quality snow for skiing events won’t be a problem if it wins the right to host the winter games.

With less than a month left before the games are awarded, the city's bid committee on Tuesday assembled a panel of ski industry experts to discuss conditions in the winter sports center at the neighboring county of Chongli, where the cross country, freestyle, and other skiing events would be held.

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Beijing's competitor in the bid, the city of Almaty in Kazakhstan, has presented itself as having true winter conditions with plenty of natural snow.

While China's bid relies heavily on artificially generated snow, Chongli's cold, dry winters are well suited for grooming and maintaining world-class slopes, said Wei Qinghua, a ski resort designer who has worked on two of Chongli's biggest resorts, Genting and Wanlong, that could potentially host Olympic events.

Wei, a 23-year ski industry veteran, said that "there's absolutely no problem with the water supply for snow making" as Chongli sits in a special geographic region where cold fronts from the northwest clash with warm currents from the southeast, resulting in abundant precipitation during winter.

"[Chongli experiences] light snow every three days, medium snow every 10 days, and heavy snow every 20 days," he added.

In extreme cases where the amount of natural snow falls below the standard of the games, Wei said that all of Chongli's ski resorts have snow makers on standby to generate enough snow.

Man-made snow is now standard in international skiing competitions to ensure firm, smooth slopes, although critics note that the barren fields and hills surrounding China's outdoor venues may turn away broadcasters.

Song Zhiyong, deputy general manager of the Genting resort, said that Chongli's long skiing season and unique microclimate will compensate for the lack of heavy snow.

Chongli has a ski season lasting up to 150 days each year, said Song, noting that members of Japanese and South Korean national ski teams have traveled all the way to the county to train there in recent years.

Beijing, which hosted the 2008 Olympics, is seeking to become the first city to host both the summer and winter games.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will select the host city on July 31 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Spokeswoman Wang Hui said that bid officials are "highly confident" of their final presentation for Kuala Lumpur, noting that they have added what she described as "new content."

"We're working on summing up the whole package and answering the question, why Beijing?" she said.