Beijing is one of the many cities represented in the official study group programme for the 2019 International Ski Federation (FIS) Alpine World Ski Championships in Åre with less than three years until the Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games are due begin in China’s capital.
Deputy secretary general Xu Zhijun has been leading a Beijing 2022 delegation in Åre, which is bidding to co-host the 2026 Winter Olympics and Paralympics with Sweden’s capital Stockholm.
Stockholm and Åre are competing against a joint Italian bid from Milan and Cortina d'Ampezzo, a town that is also represented in the study group programme as the hosts of the 2021 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships along with Vikersund and Kvitfjell in Norway and Oberstdorf in Germany.
The programme has been created to enable the sharing of knowledge and experiences with future event hosts and candidates.
"We are here in Åre because we wish to have an overview of the event and understand the event concept as well as the principal ideas behind the different organisational areas," Marzia Del Favero, responsible for marketing and communication at Cortina d'Ampezzo 2021, said.
"The best way was to meet the people who work at the event.
"We are in Åre for a week and look forward to following the races and events first hand."
Being on-site also provides an opportunity to connect with people working in the different departments within Åre 2019.
"We want to learn more and to really understand how Åre 2019 is organised and the choices it made in the different areas," Del Favero added.
"The main thing we take with us back to Italy is an understanding of Åre 2019’s strategy and overall concept as well as how the interaction between the event and town was structured."
The schedule for the study group delegates in Åre includes lectures and workshops focusing on sharing knowledge and experiences that the Local Organising Committee has gathered throughout the five years of planning for the event.
Everything from the preparations leading up to Åre 2019 has been meticulously documented and all materials have been made available for study group participants.
The participants agree, however, that in order to gain an in-depth understanding it is necessary to experience the event in person.
"We are here from Wednesday (February 13) to Sunday (February 17) and look forward to seeing how the organisation works," Ine Finsrud, head of marketing and sales for the FIS Ski Jumping World Cup in Vikersund, said.
"For us, this is about experiencing other disciplines than what we work with ourselves, which is great for ideas and inspiration."
Tone Kristiansen, secretary general of the same event, added: "It will be exciting to see the Arena and how it is built.
"It is also interesting to see how 'everything' is collected in one place at the Holiday Club.
"Other interesting areas include the logistical solution and of course the great focus on sustainability by Åre 2019."
Åre 2019 is working with Protect Our Winters in an attempt to tackle climate change.
The event, due to conclude on Sunday, aims to be the most sustainable FIS Alpine World Ski Championships ever.