Venues for Beijing 2022 open to public

By Ji Fang, People’s Daily

Many venues for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics have opened to the public to share the fruits of the Games with the people.

They are expected to better strengthen China’s national fitness campaigns as they gain more and more experiences in sustainable venue operation.

The National Speed Skating Oval, dubbed the “Ice Ribbon” and the “fastest ice,” was a landmark structure of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics. A total of 14 gold medals were awarded there during the Games, and the venue also witnessed the breaking of 10 Olympic records and a world record. On July 9, the venue opened about 6,000 square meters of its skating areas to the public.

Guan Mei, a sexagenarian skating enthusiast in Beijing, booked a ticket immediately after she learned the Ice Ribbon was about to open to the public.

“The venue looked beautiful, and the ice was great. It’s an unforgettable memory to have skated in a Winter Olympics venue,” Guan said, after completing a few laps in the venue.

The opening of these Olympic venues further stimulated the public’s passion for winter sports, and they are doing their best to meet the demand of winter sports lovers.

The National Speed Skating Oval in Beijing, dubbed the “Ice Ribbon,” opens to the public on July 9. (Photo by ZhouYujie/People’s Daily Online)

For instance, the National Indoor Stadium, where ice hockey games of the Beijing 2022 were hosted, set different time windows for ice hockey and skating to meet sports fans’ demand to the maximum extent.

The National Aquatics Center, also known as the “Water Cube” and the “Ice Cube,” is now available to both aquatic sports fans and winter sports fans. Apart from running an indoor water park and offering swimming training courses, the venue has also opened its ice sports center under its southern square to the public.

In the Ice Ribbon, there are a skates rental counter, a preparation area, a rest area and a rescue area. Helmets, knee pads, elbow pads and other equipment are offered to citizens free of charge.

The Yanqing Olympic Zone recently embraced a peak time, seeing rising numbers of receptions and hotel bookings. The Yanqing Olympic Zone, which hosted Alpine skiing, bobsleigh, skeleton and luge competitions during the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, is now a hot destination for sports fans.

The National Aquatics Center, also known as the “Ice Cube,” opens to the public for the first time on April 16, 2022 after the conclusion of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics. Photo shows a coach teaching a child to play curling. (Photo by Sun Lijun/People’s Daily Online)

To make full use of Olympic venues and grasp new opportunities, Chongli district of north China’s Hebei province, where some snow events of the Beijing 2022 were held, is launching outdoor activities to attract more sports fans while keeping organizing high-level winter sports tournaments. This July, the Chongli 168 event, an ultra-marathon race covering 168 kilometers, once again kicked off in the district. It is one of the most important sports and tourism events held in Chongli this year.

Winter Olympics venues enjoy “natural” advantages in environmental protection and are technologically advanced, which makes their post-Games operation easier.

The 12,000-square kilometer ice surface of the Ice Ribbon can be divided into different sections for different sports through module control units. WuXiaonan, chairman of the National Speed Skating Oval, told People’s Daily that operators of sports venues should think outside the box and explore new space of development. According to him, apart from serving the public, the Ice Ribbon will also hold professional games of speed skating, short-track speed skating, figure staking and ice hockey. In the future, high-level competitions are also expected to be held in the venue, he said.

Besides, a curling venue meeting Olympic standards is currently being built in Beijing. The venue will not only host high-level games, but also open to the public.

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