As the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 draw closer, construction of major event venues has been largely completed. Eight competition sites for the upcoming Beijing 2022 Games had been constructed, according to the Beijing Major Projects Construction Headquarters Office on December 29, 2020. A total of 25 venues will be constructed or transformed in Beijing and Zhangjiakou in Hebei Province, north China. The construction and renovation of all venues in Beijing is expected to be completed before July 2021.
Four of the completed venues are located in Yanqing District, Beijing. They include the National Alpine Skiing Center, the National Sliding Center, the Yanqing Winter Olympic Village which can accommodate 1,430 athletes plus team officials as well as the media center. The Bobleigh, Skeleton and Luge Tracks are within the National Sliding Center.
Although the construction of the National Bobsleigh and Tobogganing Center project by the engineering team of Shanghai Baoye Group Co. Ltd. has been largely completed, the maintenance of the tracks remains ongoing. Initiated in 2018, the venue will host alpine skiing, bobsleigh, and luge races.
Despite the delays due to the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) hitting several regions across China in 2020, the project was gradually resumed in February of last year. Over the past months, the Baoye team completed the installation of a 120,000-meter refrigeration and evaporation pipeline, the spraying of concrete onto the main track, the hoisting of the ammonia tank, and the icing of the tracks.
The team successfully completed the icing process on March 10, 2020, all according to schedule, with suggestions from foreign experts coming in via video conferences.
Given the thickness of the ice and ice-making methods in different sections and competitions vary, the work requires both the highest accuracy and quality to smoothen the surface of the track and ensure the safety of participating athletes.
After undergoing intensive training in 2019, the ice producers of Baoye mastered techniques such as the identifying of ice-making conditions from frost found on the tracks and adjusting the thickness of the ice by changing the temperature, according to the company.
With most of the work finished, the pre-homologation track testing at the National Bobsleigh and Tobogganing Center kicked off on November 9, 2020. "We have seen an exceptionally well-prepared track and were impressed by the smooth and well-organized event which took place under strict containment measurements in light of the COVID-19 pandemic," Ivo Ferriani, President of the International Bobsleigh & Skeleton Federation said after visiting the venue in November 2020.
Another major venue in Yanqing, namely the National Alpine Skiing Center, witnessed the completion of seven tracks and their supporting facilities, which also passed the homologation of the International Ski Federation (ISF), in November of last year.
However, the ISF said that all skiing-related test runs for the Games, scheduled to take to the slopes between January and March this year, were canceled due to the impact of COVID-19. To guarantee that test runs are completed before the Games, it plans to reschedule trials at a later date or do the tests for some events only using Chinese athletes.
Copyedited by Elsbeth van Paridon
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