Transformed Ice Cube ready for upcoming Beijing Winter Olympics
Updated 15:26, 25-Oct-2021
Zheng Yibing

Six months after the last round of testing, the rink in the Beijing Ice Cube, the venue set to host curling competitions for the 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics is once again complete.

After numerous tests, the ice experts have finally reached a ice surface quality they think is suitable for the upcoming Winter Games. The entire system, the support structures, cooling pipes and insulation layer, has been under constant improvement since 2017.  

"We were trying different, different kinds of ice to make it so that the ice is the way we want it to be," explained Hans Wuthrich, deputy chief ice technician for Ice Cube.

The ice-making team at work in the Ice Cube in Beijing, China. /CGTN

The ice-making team at work in the Ice Cube in Beijing, China. /CGTN

Hans and his team tested various sections of the ice surface at different temperatures and different sizes of pebble. 

"We did that two to three times to make sure that we get enough curl in the ice and enough speed," he said.  

After eliminating issues with water quality, air conditioning, illumination and local temperature, the venue has finally been transformed from the National Aquatics Center, known as the Water Cube during the 2008 Summer Games, into the Ice Cube as it will be known for the Winter Olympic Games.

Another view of the Ice Cube in Beijing, China. /CGTN

Another view of the Ice Cube in Beijing, China. /CGTN

"It's not the speed we go after in making the ice sheets. We did it in some 18 to 19 days with Olympics standards. And we plan not to convert it again and will go directly for the Winter Games," said Yang Qiyong, deputy director of venue and logistics at Ice Cube. 

The Ice Cube is currently being tested as it hosts the World Wheelchair Curling Championship. Officials will gather feedback on how the ice surface holds up and make any final adjustments needed ahead of the Winter Olympics in February. 

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