Expectations are high in China ahead of 2022 Olympic vote

2015-07-29 11:48:24 GMT2015-07-29 19:48:24(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

BEIJING, July 29 (Xinhua) -- Expectations are high in China as the vote on the 2022 Winter Olympics Games nears.

"Good luck for Beijing, and I will pray for you," said Li Maocuo, two days before the International Olympic Committee (IOC) decides to give the host right to Beijing, or Almaty, Kazakhstan.

The 22-year-old Li, a Tibetan race walker who trains in Duoba Plateau Training Base in northwest China, told Xinhua that she expected Beijing to win on Friday.

"I believe that will be a landslide victory," she said.

The IOC will vote on Friday afternoon, hours after the two cities make their final presentations. Should Beijing win, the Chinese capital will become the first city ever to host both summer and winter Olympics.

Like many other Chinese, Li is reasonable.

"No matter the result, the experience of bidding for the Winter Games is valuable," she said. "It helps develop sports like mountaineering and winter sports on Qinghai-Tibet Plateau."

"More and more people are getting to know Tibetans are good at endurance races," said Li, who added that it was a great moment when fellow walker Qieyang Shijie became the first Tibetan Olympic medal winner in the 2012 London Olympics.

Shijie is training hard for 2016 Rio Olympics now, while her mother, Suonan Jie, still enjoys the memory of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

"We were watching the opening ceremony live on TV that evening, eating beef and mutton and drinking highland barley wine," she told Xinhua. "We had a very good time as if we were celebrating the Tibetan New Year."

Jiang Lei agrees with Li, saying that "hosting the Olympics will bring great changes to China".

Jiang, a web designer for the 10th Chinese Ethnic Games which will open on Aug. 9 in Erdos, Inner Mongolia, sees Beijing as the front-runner in the race against Almaty.

"Beijing will win, just as it did 14 years ago," Jiang said.

Zhang Yuenan from the northeastern city of Harbin started to take her son to curling training in 2012. She said curling not only bring good health, but also cultivate an ability of tactical thinking.

As one of the first curling players in China and now an international referee, Zhang is expecting a Winter Olympics at home.

"If Beijing wins, curling will become more and more popular, and more people from South China will enjoy the fun and thrills of winter sports."

Zhang Zhenpeng, an organizer of Bayern Munich's China tour, said he was surprised when he visited the Genting Ski resort in Zhangjiakou, a bidding partner with Beijing, which is propsed to host biathlon, Nordic combined, ski jumping, snowboard, and freestyle skiing events in 2022.

"It is incredible to see a world-class ski resort near Beijing," said Zhang. "I'm sure Beijing will be the final winner."

If Beijing wins over Almaty this Friday, Genting Ski resort will become an official competition venue.

"The bid alone will boost participation in winter sports across the country," Zhang said.

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