1,000-day countdown to 2022 Winter Olympics starts in Beijing
Friday marks the 1,000th day before the opening ceremony of the 2022 Winter Olympics. To mark the milestone, the organizing committee has launched a special countdown device: An LED screen built on the surface of the iconic Ling Long Pagota in the center of Beijing's Olympic Park.
The Beijing Olympic Committee has also unveiled a Volunteering Action Plan for both the 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympic Winter Games. Officials called on China's friends from across the world to join in the program.
"I think it's a very exciting and formal ceremony. It's a great honor for me to witness this historical moment, not only for our country, but also for our country's sports development. I think doing volunteer job in such a sport event is very beneficial for us. And I also want to make my own contribution to the Olympic Games," university student volunteer Zhao Ruizhe told CGTN after the ceremony.
By 2022, China's capital, Beijing, will become the first city to host both the summer and winter editions of the Olympics. The Winter Olympics will be held across three zones – Beijing, Yanqing, and Zhangjiakou – with many venues from the 2008 Summer Olympics being reused.
The Water Cube, which hosted the aquatic events 11 years ago, is being converted into the Ice Cube, and the only new venue is the speed skating facility known as the "Ice Ribbon."
By the end of the year, the new National Speed Skating Oval's structure is expected to be completed and will feature 22 ribbon-shaped colored glassworks around the walls to resemble the marks skaters leave on the ice. Each ribbon is 600 meters long, with the project expected to be finished by the end of next May.
"The National Speed Skating Oval will introduce many technological milestones that no other country has ever reached before. Our special ice-making process has achieved great progress in creating an environmentally-friendly venue, while also improving refrigeration efficiency, and achieving a better balance in the temperature of the ice rink," Wu Xiaonan, chairman of the National Speed Skating Oval said.
During the design phase, the architects laid out a goal of creating the fastest ice in the world, as well as building the biggest ice rink on the planet, a 12,000-square-meter site that will accommodate all kinds of ice sports. The average temperature-error range of the 400-meter course will be controlled to within one degree Celsius, to provide better racing conditions for the skaters.
Sports Scene Photo
Sports Scene Photo
Other venues for 2022 remain under construction or transformation. The National Ski Jumping Center, Cross-Country Skiing Center, and Biathlon Center in Zhangjiakou, for example, should be ready for test events by June next year. And the Yanqing-Chongli Expressway, which will serve to link the Beijing and Zhangjiakou competition zones, will be completed later this year.
Zhang Zanxian, production manager of the China Railway Construction Engineering Group, said: "The forest on the right side will be the national cross-country skiing center. It has finished the mid-point exam. On the left side is the cross-country skiing center technology building. The static load experiment has been completed. The next phase will be foundation construction."
(With contributions by CGTN's Wang Siwen and Zhu Mandan, infographics designed by Jia Jieqiong)