Beijing's bid for the 2022 Olympic Winter Games will enter its decisive phase next week with the IOC evaluation commission visiting the Chinese capital to assess its bid plan on proposed venue sites.
Headed by Russian IOC member Alexander Zhukov, the evaluation commission will visit Beijing and its co-host city, Zhangjiakou in Hebei province, from March 24 to 28 to inspect the proposed venues for ice and snow events, the noncompetition infrastructure and supporting facilities to assess the Chinese capital's capability for hosting the games.
The final host city - Beijing or Almaty, Kazakhstan - will be selected at an International Olympic Committee session held in Kuala Lumpur on July 31.
Beijing submitted its official candidature file in January, responding to more than 200 questions and requirements raised by the IOC. The file set out details of the bid objectives, venue plans, transport arrangements and security measures.
The evaluation team will visit existing venues in Beijing, legacies of the 2008 Summer Olympics, for ice events including figure skating, ice hockey and curling on March 24. Then it will travel to mountain areas in northwest Beijing's Yanqing county and Zhangjiakou's Chongli county over the next two days to assess proposed venue clusters for snow events such as bobsled, Alpine skiing, cross- country skiing and freestyle skiing.
The evaluation commission will also hear presentations from bid officials and government leaders during the trip, and it will wrap up the inspection with a concluding news conference on March 28.
The Beijing municipal government has urged everyone involved in the 2022 bid to make an all-out effort to be prepared for the inspection, which will play a critical role in deciding the final host.
The Standing Committee of the Beijing Municipal People's Congress passed a resolution recently calling for all resources to be mobilized to prepare for the visit.
"Under the guidance of State authorities, the municipal government should work closely with Hebei province to be fully prepared in all possible areas that the IOC will evaluate and to optimize final preparations for the bid based on IOC rules," said a statement released by the committee.