Almost six years after winning the bid to host the 2022 Olympic Winter Games, Beijing on Monday will mark 200 days before the competition’s opening ceremony at the city’s National Stadium.
Construction on all 12 competition venues in Beijing has been completed, and all venues have been inspected and certified by international winter sports organizations. All 76 Winter Olympics projects in the Zhangjiakou competition zone were also completed ahead of schedule.
The construction of venues and infrastructure is the top priority of the preparation work. Early this year, the three competition zones successfully underwent various testing programs.
“We did our best to test all possible scenarios mainly in five areas,” said Yan Cheng, head of human resources at the Beijing organizing committee (BOCOG). “I think the infrastructure and facilities have met the Olympic requirements.”
“We got positive feedback from the International Olympic Committee (IOC), international institutions and athletes. Based on that feedback, we worked on areas where some final touches were needed.”
After the testing programs, workers at the National Speed Skating Oval, known locally as the “Ice Ribbon”, have been working on installing accessible facilities and optimizing traffic flow and service facilities. At the National Aquatics Center, known as the “Water Cube”, great efforts have been made in improving the ice quality and venue operations.
In the second half of 2021, all construction and renovation work of competition venues will be completed, including the implementation of epidemic prevention and control measures and all other supporting facilities.
Meanwhile, in the Zhangjiakou competition zone, all seven core substations were put into operation earlier this year, forming a “double ring network and double radiation” power grid structure in the core Winter Olympic area. With a designated electricity trading mechanism, 100 percent green electricity supply will be achieved for the first time in Olympic history at the Beijing Games.
At present, Zhangjiakou is building a low-carbon zone to promote 100 percent green power supply, where electric vehicles and fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) will be available in the second half of 2021 to achieve carbon neutrality in the core area.
During the 2022 Winter Olympics, Zhangjiakou is expected to deploy 515 hydrogen fuel cell buses for transportation services, which will operate despite temperatures plunging to minus 20 degrees Celsius.
To host a successful Winter Games, talent cultivation, event service, Games guarantee, and market development all need to be carefully considered.
“There is a shortage of winter sports professionals in China, so we need to cultivate our own talents,” said Yan. “A batch of domestic technical officials, professional workers, security personnel and other professional teams were gradually introduced.”
Relying on the city’s resources, BOCOG has formed a team of 622 professional skiers, half of whom have already participated in operations and security during the testing programs. International experts were also invited to help further boost the level of expertise. Zhangjiakou has recruited more than 14,000 volunteers in the city and nearly 5,000 at the venues.