FIS secretary general Sarah Lewis has hailed the progress at the venues due to stage skiing events at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games as “remarkable” ©Beijing 2022

International Ski Federation (FIS) secretary general Sarah Lewis has hailed the progress at the venues due to stage skiing events at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games as "remarkable" following a second day of inspections as part of the Coordination Commission visit here.

The Zhangjiakou zone, located in the Chongli District, will play host to the majority of skiing competitions, with freestyle skiing and snowboarding taking place at the Genting Snow Park.

Cross-country, Nordic combined and ski jumping are also set to be held in the region, along with biathlon.

A key concern for organisers in the build-up is the perceived lack of snow in the area, although both Beijing 2022 and International Olympic Committee (IOC) officials are confident this will not be an issue come Games time.

Members of the Coordination Commission, minus the absent chair Alexander Zhukov, who left late last night in order to return to Russia for a meeting with President Vladimir Putin, toured the venues in both the Yanqing and Zhangjiakou zones today.

They were scheduled to visit some of the facilities tomorrow but opted to see them all today.

Alpine Skiing is the only discipline on the FIS Olympic programme to be held outside of Zhangjiakou.

Yanqing is around 88 kilometres outside of the Chinese capital, with Zhangjiakou a further 110km away.

"The tours today to all the mountain venues including all our FIS disciplines were excellent with very clear information," Lewis told insidethegames.

"The progress with construction work and expansion of the resort here at Genting Resort even since early July is remarkable."

Sarah Lewis believes the infrastructure being built for Beijing 2022 will be the catalyst for further development of winter sport in China ©Getty Images
Sarah Lewis believes the infrastructure being built for Beijing 2022 will be the catalyst for further development of winter sport in China ©Getty Images

Lewis also believes the facilities being built here for the Games have been the "catalyst" for the development of skiing disciplines in China.

The nation does not have a particularly strong heritage at the Winter Olympics in skiing, with Han Xiaopeng the country's only gold medallist in the sport after she won the women’s aerials event at Turin 2006.

Organisers hope to increase the amount of Chinese participants in winter sport to around 30 million people each year as part of their preparations for the Games.

Beijing 2022 gave a presentation to the Coordination Commission yesterday, which announced they had set a target of ranking among the best in the world at the event on home snow.

They hope to strengthen the well-developed events in the country while increasing support for those which lag behind.

Winter sport in China appears to be growing in popularity, with more than two million visitors reportedly coming to Zhangjiakou last winter, double the figure from just three years ago.

In the presentation, Beijing 2022 claimed the number of ski resorts in the country had risen from 10 in 1995 to 568 in 2015.

"We're hugely excited about the developments for the FIS disciplines which is already happening and also for recreational winter sport activities here in China," Lewis added.

"The resort and infrastructure developments as a consequence of Beijing 2022 is proving the catalyst."

Reprinted from insidethegames.biz