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Venue recycling key to planning for Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics

June 12, 2018

The organisers of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics have highlighted how, in preparing for the Games, they are looking to reuse existing sports venues, keeping new construction to a minimum while looking to introduce energy-saving features and innovative designs to boost post-Games usage.

Beijing’s National Aquatics Centre, dubbed the ‘Water Cube’ when it hosted swimming competitions during the 2008 Summer Olympics, is being reinvented as an ‘ice cube’ to make it the 2022 Games' curling venue. The venue's owner, Beijing State-owned Assets Management Co., advises that the change is scheduled to be completed in the second half of 2019.

Centre Manager Yang Qiyong explains “the renovation of a summer sport venue into a curling arena capable of hosting various ice-based sports and entertainment activities helps diversify the functions and revenue sources of this facility.”

The core transformation procedure was successfully tested in April 2017 with the venue’s main pool being filling with steel framework and covered with a retractable pool cover made of concrete. On this a competition-level ice surface was installed – a procedure that will be repeated for 2022.

The transformation takes about a month, with its introduction having required upgrades in power supply, humidity control and cooling systems.

Explaining the temperature control challenges in keeping the ground area cold enough for a proper ice surface while keeping the venue's upper layer warmer for spectator comfort, Yang added “it's easy to just apply as many air conditioners as needed, but we will take a more energy-efficient solution featuring natural ventilation through existing vents in the main structure of the venue.”

The venue already is a busy destination for swimming and diving contests and international events and its ongoing use is seen as a compelling example for post-Olympics operation of permanent facilities.

The National Aquatics Centre is among eight existing 2008 venues in the capital to be transformed and refurbished for competition and noncompetition purposes for the 2022 Olympics, which will use 26 venues in downtown Beijing, northwestern Yanqing district and co-host Zhangjiakou, Hebei province.

As an integral part of the rejuvenation of the abandoned Shougang steel mill in western Beijing's suburbs, a new winter sports park will be built in the area. It will host the big air snowboarding competition and related leisure activities by 2022.

Big air is a new Winter Olympics discipline that involves snowboarders hurling themselves off a snow ramp to perform aerial stunts such as flips and spins before landing on the slope.

Beijing's proposal to build a permanent ramp for the event at north end of the Shougang industrial area, against the backdrop of four 70-metre cooling towers, was approved by the International Olympic Committee in September last year. It is a unique combination of dynamic Olympic action with industrial heritage, according to Beijing 2022 organising committee's general planning and construction department.

The big air venue includes a versatile plan to transform affiliated housing and storage facilities. It is expected to host high-level athletic training of national teams, large-scale winter sports education, extreme sports activities and sports-related startups beyond 2022, said Liu Yumin, Executive Deputy Director of the Department, who advised “the Winter Olympics excitement will bring the old industrial park back to life again in a vibrant way.”

Image: Beijing's National Aquatics Centre, host to swimming events during the 2008 Games, will be transformed into the 2022 Games’ curling venue (top) and the abandoned Shougang steel mill in western Beijing's suburbs that will host snowboarding competition and related leisure activities by 2022 (below).

30th October 2017 - CONSTRUCTION COMMENCES ON NEW BEIJING 2022 OLYMPIC VENUES 

12th September 2017 - INAUGURAL SUMMIT TO DEVELOP AUSTRALIAN AND CHINESE SPORTING LINKS 

8th September 2017 - BEIJING READIES FOR 2022 WINTER OLYMPICS

5th August 2017 - SOUTH KOREAN ORGANISERS READY TO HOST 2018 WINTER OLYMPICS 

23rd September 2016 - IOC PRESIDENT PROCLAIMS ‘TIME OF ASIA’ AS SPORTS MINISTERS SIGN DECLARATION IN PYEONGCHANG 

22nd September 2016 - RESEARCH SHOWS VALUE OF OLYMPICS VOLUNTEER LEGACIES

11th August 2016 - BEIJING TO REUSE 2008 OLYMPIC VENUES FOR 2022 WINTER GAMES 

21st June 2016 - CHINESE PROFESSIONAL SPORTS MARKET TO REACH US$242 BILLION BY 2025 

1st August 2015 - BEIJING CHOSEN TO HOST 2022 WINTER OLYMPIC GAMES

18th March 2014 - CHINA ON THE EDGE OF LEISURE BUILDING EXPLOSION

22nd December 2009 - BEIJING’S OLYMPIC STADIUM EVOLVES INTO WINTER SPORTS PARK

21st August 2009 - BEIJING’S WATER CUBE STILL DRAWS THE CROWDS


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