2022 Beijing Olympic Mountain Venues Average 2″ Snow Depth

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IOC image of Yanqing snow venue taken between January 20th and 23rd. No snow...
IOC image of Yanqing snow venue taken between January 20th and 23rd. No snow…

***originally published on August 3rd, 2015

It appears that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has failed us.  They’ve chosen a venue for the 2022 Winter Olympics that lacks the most fundimental element necessary for winter sport:  snow.

The snow venues for the 2022 Winter Olympics average a wintertime snow depth of 2-inches.  They average 2″ of snow on the ground which essentially means that they don’t have any snow at all.

IOC image of Yanqing snow venue taken between January 20th and 23rd. No snow...
IOC image of Yanqing snow venue taken between January 20th and 23rd. No snow…

The 2022 Winter Olympics will be performed on 100% artificial snow.

The on snow mountain events in the 2022 Winter Olympics will take place at Yanqing, about 55 miles from Beijing, and Zhangjiakou, about 100 miles from Beijing.  Yanquing will have alpine racing and the like and Zhangjiakou will have freestyle skiing & snowboarding, and the nordic disciplines.

The two photos above are from two mountain venues in Yanquing and were taken between January 20th and 23rd, only two weeks before the 2022 Olympic start date.  Note that there is 0.00 snow in these images.

A ski resort near Zhangjikaou, China that may hold on snow events in 2022. photo: Rolex Dela Pena/European Pressphoto Agency
A ski resort near Zhangjikaou, China that may hold on snow events in 2022. photo: Rolex Dela Pena/European Pressphoto Agency

The IOC fully recognizes the problem and pushed forward regardless.

“The Zhangjiakou and Yanqing Zones have minimal annual snowfall and for the Games would rely completely on artificial snow.  There would be no opportunity to haul snow from higher elevations for contingency maintenance to the racecourses so a contingency plan would rely on stockpiled man-made snow.” – IOC bid evaluation

Temperatures will be plenty cold enough for artificial snow making since temperatures hover in the teens during January and February at these venues.  Those fake snow strips aren’t gonna be too pleasing to the eye, and the IOC knows that…

“Due to the lack of natural snow the ‘look’ of the venue may not be aesthetically pleasing either side of the ski run.” – IOC

What’s next for the Winter Olympics now that snow is no longer a hurdle that has to be cleared?  Phoenix, Arizona in 2026?


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