Winter Olympics put a mountain village in the limelight

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SHIJIAZHUANG, Jan. 29 (Xinhua) — The Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics not only shone the spotlight on Taizicheng — a once-undiscovered village often covered in snow in winter — but also revived its past glory as a site of an imperial palace castle dating back 800 years.

TODAY: A SKIERS’ PARADISE

Boarding a high-speed train at Beijing North Station, it takes less than an hour to reach Taizicheng Station, which is adjacent to a station serving the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. competition area of ​​Zhangjiakou, in the province of Hebei (north of China).

In 2015, Beijing and Zhangjiakou won the joint bid to host the 2022 Winter Olympics. The area of ​​Taizicheng Village in Chongli District of Zhangjiakou City was chosen as the site of support facilities for the Games.

Now Taizicheng Resort, covering an area of ​​350 standard football pitches, has been transformed into a popular destination for those who savor snow fun with obvious enjoyment. A favorite is Thaiwoo. It is one of the largest ski resorts in China, built with an investment of more than 5 billion yuan (about 784 million US dollars).

“The Winter Olympics have effectively combined Chongli’s tourism resources and attracted more customers, and major ski resorts are working hard to adapt to the new trend,” said Li Yongtai, executive vice president of Thaiwoo. . “There will definitely be more tourists after the Games, and we’re racking our brains to introduce them to new services and products.”

Today, Chongli is home to seven large-scale ski resorts, four of which are among the top 10 ski areas in China. The total length of ski slopes in Chongli exceeded 160 km.

In 2019, Chongli was selected by the New York Times as one of “52 Places to Travel” for its booming ski industry. Ice and snow sports have also taken on a new image in the once impoverished mountain village of Taizicheng.

“Most of the young people worked elsewhere as migrant workers before Beijing and Zhangjiakou won the joint bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics, and those who stayed mainly relied on growing vegetables,” said Gao Wei, secretary. from the Taizicheng Village Party.

“Frequent gales and blizzards in winter used to plunge us into extreme poverty,” said Li Guo, a 71-year-old villager. Now they are the ones making the money.

Currently, about one-third of Taizicheng Village residents are engaged in winter sports-related jobs. The booming tourist industry has attracted young people and fattened their wallets.

In Sitaizui Township, where Taizicheng is located, the average per capita net income reached 16,168 yuan in 2021.

YESTERDAY: ROYAL PALACE

The construction of the supporting facilities also revealed the ancient splinter of Taizicheng, which was the location of a royal palace around 800 years ago.

The Taizicheng ruins feature high-quality buildings, spread along the axis and featuring massive columns, indicating the site’s noble status, said Huang Xin, deputy director of the provincial Institute of Cultural Relics and Archeology. from Hebei, who is leading an excavation. team in the region.

After a thorough excavation, archaeologists place the period of the palace under the Jin Dynasty (1115-1234).

Today the ruins have been transformed into a park covering an area of ​​almost 19 hectares.

Not far from there, rehearsals are in full swing on the square where the medalists on the Olympic podium will be rewarded.

“The podium will soon attract worldwide attention and become a showcase to showcase the Olympic spirit and the charm of Chinese culture,” said Gao Tian, ​​vice director of the culture and ceremonies department. of the organizing committee.

“Audiences can not only witness the passion for ice and snow here, but also have closer contact with China’s cultural heritage,” Gao added.

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