Yanqing and Zhangjiakou Zones, which will host the Para alpine and Para snowboard competitions during the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games, held their first official Para Snow Sports competitions this week.
Eight Para alpine races were held at the National Alpine Ski Centre in the Yanqing District from 23 to 26 February.
Two Para snowboard races and three official training races were also held in the Genting Resort Secret Garden in Chongli District, Zhangjiakou from 22 to 26 February.
While not official test events for Beijing 2022, the Para alpine skiing races were part of the Asian Cup season and helped the organisers to test the venue infrastructure, train staff and improve their COVID-19 protocols ahead of next year’s Games.
Due to travel restrictions imposed by the pandemic, only Chinese athletes were able to participate but all races were followed by international delegates. Among the participants were World Cup medallists such as women’s sit-skiers Wenjing Zhang and Liu Sitong.
After the competition in China, the 2020-2021 Asian Cup will head to Japan for the last two stops in the season. The first in Sugadaira from 10 to 13 March followed by Nozawa from 12 to 15 April, both with two slalom and two giant slalom races.
"The venue is ready. We have tested the Olympic machine and they are almost ready to welcome the other countries next here. The slopes are very nice, very technical and very challenging. I think it will be a wonderful Paralympic Winter Games," Dario Capelli, head coach of China's Para alpine skiing team, said.
"Because of this pandemic, this year we haven't been overseas, so no World Cup, but we used this time for training and improved a lot. I have had a lot of time to follow everyone. I'm satisfied," Capelli added.
The Para snowboard races in Chongli were the only ones in the 2020-2021 Asian Cup season. Pyha 2019 world champion Sun Qi was one of the participants in the men’s SB-LL2 class.
This week’s Para alpine and Para snowboard races were among the nearly 20 Olympic and Paralympic snow competitions that were held at the Beijing 2022 venues in February. All these events were held without foreign athletes but with foreign technical experts acting as observers.
The next edition of the Paralympic Winter Games will be held from 4 to 13 March 2022.