The Beijing Winter Olympics in 2022 will “change the landscape of winter sport forever” by introducing it to 300 million Chinese people, says International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach.
Beijing will become the first city to have staged both a summer and winter Games, having already hosted a successful summer Olympics in 2008.
“You can already feel this passion for winter sport,” said Bach.
The Games start on 4 February 2022.
Bach added he was impressed by China’s preparations and enthusiasm for delivering what he feels will be a “spectacular” winter Games.
The IOC is also hopeful the Chinese population will embrace winter sports during the two-week event, despite artificial powder being needed to help cover the slopes.
Yanqing, which is 55 miles away from Beijing and will hold skiing and sliding events, experiences just two inches of snowfall per year.
“We can say already now with great confidence China is ready to welcome the world’s best athletes for an unforgettable Beijing 2022,” Bach said.
Despite strong opposition from human rights groups, a senior member of the IOC has rejected criticism of its decision to host next year’s Winter Games in China.
More than 180 organisations have called on governments to boycott the showpiece in Beijing because of reported human rights abuses against ethnic minorities.