Beijing hosts the Olympics with top-notch services

Skaters warm up before the 1000m short track speed skating competition at Capital Indoor Stadium on Wednesday night.Photo:Li Hao/GT

Beijing receives applause and praise from visiting Olympians for its high-level services at venues, as the world’s first “double Olympic city” pays attention to detail in all aspects to support the safe and smooth running of the Games while overcoming the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. When the Winter Olympics meets the Chinese New Year, Beijing makes everyone’s stay in China more enjoyable with a wonderful experience of Chinese culture.

Speaking during his visit to the Main Media Center on Wednesday, Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee, told the media that the venues in Beijing are so exceptional that all the athletes are satisfied and some of them compared the sights in paradise.

Bach commented that everything has gone very well since the Opening Ceremony and so far all the Games have gone very well, while saying “looking forward to the remaining 12 days of competition”.

Officials from four districts in Beijing – Chaoyang, Haidian, Shijingshan and Yanqing – explained on Wednesday how they have rendered such incredible services, during a special press conference at the Beijing 2022 Media Center.

Home to three competition arenas, including the National Stadium and the Aquatic Center (or Ice Cube), and eight non-competition venues, Chaoyang District will host 75 competitions and 32 award ceremonies, according to Meng Rui, director district deputy.

Meng cited support work for the opening ceremony – for example, the district mobilized more than 2,800 people to work in common areas, ensuring the event ran smoothly.

Meng said the district had prioritized anti-COVID-19 measures for the Olympics. An area of ​​over 40,000 square meters that came into contact with closed-loop personnel during the event has been fully disinfected.

The number of Olympic service hotels in Chaoyang District reached 83, and they received more than 22,000 international guests. More than 1,200 doctors have been dispatched to competition venue stations, relevant hotels and transportation stations. Chaoyang conducted 681,000 nucleic acid tests in a bid to create a safe Olympic event, Meng noted.

Haidian District Deputy Chief Lin Hang, for her part, shed light on the scientific and technological characteristics of the district’s Winter Olympic services. Ranging from 8K high-resolution screens to the application of guidance and disinfection robots, Lin said, Haidian has fully displayed its unique advantages at every stage of services in the venues there.

World-renowned Japanese figure skater Yuzuru Hanyu has praised Beijing Winter Olympics venues, saying both “the stadium and the ice are awesome” and “I like it here”, according to the report. Xinhua news agency.

He started his training at the Capital Indoor Stadium in Haidian on Monday afternoon, when he started with some jumping practice, including the toughest jump in the sport, a quadruple axel (4A).

To explore the secrets of ice making, the Global Times gave an exclusive interview to Remy Boehler, a French ice master, who built the dream stage for athletes around the world, together with his Chinese colleagues.

Short track speed skating and figure skating have different styles: one is fast while the other is graceful. The two share the same ice at the Beijing Olympics.

Boehler started working in ice making at the age of 16, when he drove the ice sweeping cars at the Winter Olympics in Albertville, France in 1992. Since then he has gained a wealth of experience in several Winter Olympics and World Championships.

After working on short track speed skating and figure skating for the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, Boehler was invited by the Beijing Organizing Committee for the 2022 Beijing Games, and he is working with the Chinese team for nearly four years to provide an excellent Winter Olympics.

Speaking about the biggest challenge of this job, Boehler said the capital stadium will host the two major events of the Beijing Winter Olympics – short track speed skating and figure skating, which have completely different requirements. on the ice.

“It forces us to study carefully to make sure the ice is perfect for both events,” he said. “Figure skaters are more capable of jumping on a softer surface than the crisp ice that short track speed skaters prefer. If a short track speed skater can skate extremely fast and a figure skater can jump very high in a race, then the ice job is successful.”

Therefore, his ice team has to adjust the temperature of the ice several times a day. “We adjust the condition of the ice, change the protective pads and adjust the temperature of the ice every day to reach the optimal temperature. In order to achieve this goal, we work closely with the Chinese engineers in charge of the machinery and equipment for regulating ice temperature, water temperature and cooling system temperature.”

Capital Stadium was built in 1968, Beijing’s first modern gymnasium. China’s first artificial indoor ice rink was also born here.

Shijingshan District, where the Beijing Winter Olympics Organizing Committee is headquartered and also houses the main operations center, transport management center and other central facilities for the Games, has activated nine Special Olympics service hotels and set up a food safety team to provide technical support, among other efforts to improve venue services, district spokesperson Qi Chunli said at Wednesday’s conference. .

Shijingshan District has also carried out regular disinfection work in closed-loop areas as well as daily nucleic acid testing. The district has also dispatched psychologists to hotel stations and launched psychological hotlines to support all staff working for the Olympics, Qi said.

Shijingshan District is also home to Beijing’s Big Air Shougang Olympic venue which just witnessed the epic victory of 18-year-old Chinese freestyle skier Gu Ailing, also known as Eileen Gu.

Gu praised the Shijingshan competition venue, as she told the media on Tuesday that not only her but all the other athletes said the Shougang Big Air was the best of its kind they had on. set foot.

Yanqing District, in the suburbs of Beijing, has set up 39 catering outlets, including seven for competition venues, offering fast and personalized catering services to some 16,000 athletes and officials, according to their tastes, said said Huang Keying, district spokesman, on Wednesday.

“We adjusted the menu according to the preferences of Chinese and overseas customers, and rolled out combos of dozens of styles to ensure our overseas friends have a good memory of Chinese cuisine,” Huang said.

According to Huang, service personnel in Yanqing held New Year celebrations such as dumpling making and dragon dances, to make everyone feel like a happy Chinese New Year.

To support the snow competitions, which are highly dependent on weather conditions, the district also founded a 49-person weather support center, deploying an automatic weather station, weather radar and other high-tech instruments to provide monitoring. real-time and minute weather/Precise forecast at 100-meter level, Huang said.

Bobsledder Carlo Valdes, a member of the US team for the 2022 Winter Olympics, told the Global Times that “compared to [South] Korea… you can tell the organizers wanted to take a step forward and try to make it better for the athletes,” he said. “Considering everything that is going on with COVID and all the limitations, this has been a great experience so far.”

“It’s the coolest track I’ve ever been on,” he told the Global Times after checking out the bobsled track in Yanqing, noting that it shows that the time the organizing committee and the staff dedicated to the Games has really paid off.

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