Construction of Beijing Winter Olympic Games enters a sprint stage


  • World
  • Thursday, 23 Jul 2020

By sportswriters Luo Xin, Ji Ye and Wang Meng

BEIJING, July 22 (Xinhua) -- Winter Olympic preparations for the Beijing competition area, which will host all ice sports during the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, has seen significant progress.

With a total of 15 rinks and ice surfaces for competition and training for the Beijing Winter Olympics are all close to completion, the construction process has entered a final sprint stage.

All competition venues inside the city during the games want to realize the ambitious ability to hold winter and summer sports events. All the ice rinks will fully consider the demand of competition time and post-competition utilization. In addition, environmental protection has been the cornerstones of venue construction and ice-making.

Sharing concept: Competitiveness & fitness dual focuses

The Beijing Major Projects Construction Headquarters Office, which is building a total of 15 ice surfaces in the Beijing competition area, will be completed by the end of this year, including newly built and renovated ice sports and training venues.

The unifying goal of all these ice rinks is to make the Olympic Games and the venues available, operational and sustainable after the games.

Ma Jin, design director of the ice making project at the National Speed Skating Hall said the venue has the most extensive full ice design in Asia, with an ice surface area of 12,000 square meters. The purpose is to give full consideration to post-competition utilization and provide hardware support for mass fitness and to meet various needs.

The ice in the National Speed Skating Hall has adopted a submodule control unit, which can divide the ice surface into several areas and make ice according to varying standards.

During ordinary times, it can receive more than two thousand citizens and be utilized for ice hockey, speed skating, figure skating, curling and other ice sports at the same time.

According to the General Administration of Sport of China, Capital Sports Park is committed to creating an ice rink that not only meets the requirements of the Winter Olympic Games but also looks forward to the long-term development of ice and snow sports.

As the venue of short track speed skating and figure skating in the 2022 Winter Olympic Games, the Capital Gymnasium realizes "the most beautiful ice" through the latest acoustic and photoelectric technology.

After the competition, it will be able to undertake various international and domestic high-level ice sports events and figure skating on ice deduction.

As the first Winter Olympic venue completed this year, the "Ice Jar" will become a shared facility for promoting and popularizing ice sports to teenagers while carrying out professional athlete training after the competition.

The Capital Skating Rink will be opened to the public regularly as a base for popularization and promotion of skating sports.

Wukesong Gymnasium, which was closed due to the global coronavirus pandemic, has been reopened. In 2019, Wukesong Gymnasium organized four ice Disney tours in front of a total of 50 thousand fans.

With the completion of the Wukesong Gymnasium and Wukesong Ice Sports Center, more and more high-level ice sports events will be available to the public in the future, giving local Beijingers the opportunity to use the facilities.

Standard all-weather: Two-way conversion of winter and summer venues

According to the Beijing Major Projects Construction Headquarters Office, all competition venues in Beijing city will have the ability to convert between winter and summer sports venues after the 2022 Olympics.

A significant feature of the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing is to make full use of the venues from the 2008 Summer Olympic Games.

The National Aquatics Center, widely known as the "Water Cube," was the venue for swimming, diving and synchronized swimming in the 2008 Olympic Games. For the 2022 Winter Olympic Games, it will be converted into the "Ice Cube," ready to host curling events.

In December 2019, the "Water Cube" successfully set up a curling track on the swimming pool, becoming the first venue in the world to realize "ice water conversion."

In May this year, the "Ice Cube" changed back to the "Water Cube," completing the whole process conversion of ice and water.

Wukesong Gymnasium, which was the basketball competition venue of the 2008 Summer Olympic Games, will become the ice hockey competition venue of Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games. After the transformation of ice making and dehumidification system, the conversion between ice hockey and basketball playing surfaces takes under six hours.

The National Indoor Stadium hosted gymnastics, trampolining, handball competitions in Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. During the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games, it will display ice hockey events.

Low carbon environment: Use of green and clean energy

The Beijing Games will become the first Olympics in history to use green and clean electric energy.

With the operation of the world's first 500 kV Zhangbei flexible DC power transmission and transformation project in June this year; wind power, photovoltaic power and other green clean power from Zhangjiakou -- another competition area for Winter Olympics -- has officially entered Beijing power grid.

Some venues in Beijing can use green power to carry out construction and operation within this year, while all sites will be operational by 2022 to realize 100 percent use of green electricity.

The National Speed Skating Hall is the largest ice surface in the world with a carbon dioxide transcritical direct cooling system and is the first Winter Olympic Stadium in the world to adopt carbon dioxide transcritical refrigeration.

This technology is currently the most environmentally friendly ice-making technology in the world, with carbon emissions close to zero. It is also the most advanced ice-making technology, with the ability to control the temperature of the ice surface to within 0.5 degrees.

In this way, the efficiency of refrigeration is improved by 30 percent compared with traditional methods, and with uniform cooling, the temperature across the ice remains stable.

At the same time, the National Speed Skating Hall has specially built an intelligent energy management system, which uses the waste heat generated by refrigeration for athletes' domestic hot water, ice surface maintenance and ice pouring. Under the full ice operation mode, 2 million kWh of electricity can be saved a year.

At present, the four ice rinks in the Capital Gymnasium Park also adopt carbon dioxide ice-making technology, becoming the most concentrated area of carbon dioxide ice.

Based on using carbon dioxide to make ice, Wukesong Ice Sports Center has introduced the solution dehumidification system, which can reduce energy consumption by about 50 percent compared with the traditional dehumidification method.

The Beijing Major Projects Construction Headquarters Office admitted that with laying a solid foundation for scientific and technological innovation and green development, builders of Beijing Winter Olympics venues are full of confidence and are striving to create "the fastest ice," "the most beautiful ice" and "the most intelligent ice."

Beijing Winter Olympics will provide world-class training and competition venues for athletes from all over the world and will contribute to creating an astonishing Olympic Games that will be inherited by ordinary people across China.

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