BEIJING - Olympic fever is growing in Zhangjiakou. Located roughly 160km northwest of the Chinese capital, the city is bidding to co-host the 2022 Winter Games with Beijing. Should they get the nod over their only other rival -- Almaty, Kazakhstan -- the country may see a skiing boom unlike any the world has ever seen.
President Xi Jinping himself is making bold predictions of 300 million Chinese being inspired to take up snow sports should the country be selected.
During a Jan. 17 press tour in Zhangjiakou for the foreign media, Zhang Chunsheng, executive deputy director of the local bid committee, eschewed any attempts at understatement. When asked about the impact of a successful bid, he said 50 future gold medalists would be born in the city in 2022 if it is selected.
The International Olympic Committee will announce the winner when it meets in Kuala Lumpur in July.
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