Beijing: A city of two Olympic Games
2021-10-12 11:55     Source : Xinhua

As the 2022 Winter Olympic Games draw near, Beijing will be documented in Olympic history as a host city, yet again.

Having successfully hosted the 2008 Summer Olympics, Beijing will soon become the only city in the world to have staged the global sporting event in both seasons.

The 14-year interval witnessed the rise of sports enthusiasts in China, especially in winter sports, the development of technology for sports infrastructure construction, as well as the consistent hospitable spirit of the Chinese people under the themes from "One World, One Dream" to "Together for a Shared Future."

Down the memory lane, the Summer of 2008 recorded remarkable moments in Olympic history, where Usain Bolt established athletics men's 200m record of 19.30 seconds, Michael Phelps won the most gold medals (8) of an individual from one edition, and Zhang Yining won the 100th gold medal for China in Summer Olympics in the table tennis women's singles final.

As the late International Olympics Committee (IOC) chief Jacques Rogge praised, the 2008 Olympic Games were "truly exceptional Games."

"Through these Games, the world learned more about China, and China learned more about the world. Athletes from 204 National Olympic Committees came to these dazzling venues and awed us with their talent," Rogge said in his speech at the closing ceremony of Beijing 2008.

Beijing has everything it takes to transform into a platform for winter sports, as the venues for the Summer Games have been conveniently reconstructed for winter's use. Meanwhile, besides the legacy and experience from a successful edition of Games, the weather and geography conditions of the city also ensured successful bidding six years ago.

Sustainable development

As the 2022 Games approach, a series of test events will soon kick off in both newly built venues and existing ones from 2008 converted with the latest technology, namely the National Aquatics Center "Water Cube" now as the "Ice Cube," and the Wukesong Sports Center where the transformation of a basketball court into an ice hockey arena needs only six hours.

From October 5 to December 31, an estimated 2,000 athletes, umpires and officials will take part in the testing events prior to the official opening date of Beijing 2022, February 4.

As Beijing 2022 is committed to hosting "green, inclusive, open and clean" Games, sustainable use of energy has been the theme of venue transformation.

In the "Ice Cube", for example, the organizers and experts managed to build a convertible structure and install a detachable ice making system to form a curling field with four standard tracks, enabling conversion materials to be reused, and the transformation cost to be effectively reduced.

In Wukesong, carbon dioxide will be used instead of ozone layer-harming Freon as refrigerants in ice-making for the Games, which will reduce carbon emission equivalent to that of 3,900 cars a year, cutting the number to nearly zero.

Suitable geographical condition

Sitting at 39.56 degrees north latitude and 116.20 degrees east longitude, Beijing is among several other Winter Olympics hosting cities that are situated between 30 to 60 degrees north latitude, typically the ideal range to host outdoor sporting events in February, when Games are usually held.

Beijing's Yanqing District will be hosting alpine skiing events as well as the sliding events of bobsled, luge, and skeleton. The mountainous landscape offers seven courses, with the largest vertical drop reaching 900 meters, as the standard to host such events require a drop of 800m to 1,000m. 

In an interview with China Media Group earlier this year, IOC chief Thomas Bach said: "Beijing will write history as it will be the first city ever to host both the winter and summer editions of the Olympic Games. This is already an achievement itself. "

Editor: Zheng Sihui