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"Water Cube" fascinates Olympic divers
10:43, August 04, 2008

Photo taken on the night of Aug. 2, 2008 shows the figure "2008" displayed on the exterior of the National Aquatics Center, nicknamed “Water Cube” in Beijing, capital of China. (Xinhua Photo)

World divers were fascinated by the Olympic diving venue "Water Cube" when they warmed up here for the upcoming Olympics.

"It's an amazing pool, such a beautiful place. I think everyone enjoys diving here," the U.S. diver Thomas Finchum, who is to compete in men's 10m platform and synchronized, said on Sunday.

With a capacity of 17,000 seats, the National Aquatics Center, known as the "Water Cube", is to stage swimming, diving, synchronized swimming and the water polo final during the Beijing Olympics.

A journalist takes photos of the National Aquatics Center, nicknamed “Water Cube” in Beijing, capital of China, on the night of Aug.2, 2008. (Xinhua Photo)

Taking the structure of soap bubbles, the eye-catching venue is the world's largest membrane structure and is considered one of the latest cutting-edge buildings in China

Canadian top diver Alexandre Despatie praised the venue as a "cool" and "fantastic" place for divers to realize aspirations.

"It is much different from the last time when I was here," he added, referring to the Olympic symbols and designs decorating the stadium.

The rectangular "box", covered in iridescent soap bubble wrap, locates in the south-western part of the Olympic Green's Central Zone. The venue, which was built from the end of 2003 to 2006, uses the state-of-the-art ETFE material which is light but very strong.

The blue bubbles outside the National Aquatics Center comprise over 3,000 air cushions, which look like an entirety but actually they are relatively independent from each other, providing convenience for replacement of individual cushions when needed.

"The stadium is the most impressive one I have ever seen," said British 3-meter synchronized diver Tandi Gerrard.


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