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Beijing 2008 venues to shine during 2022 winter games

(CRI Online)    08:35, June 23, 2018

Legacy venues from the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympic Games are preparing for another Olympic event in 2022, as the capital city is committed to hosting the upcoming Winter Olympics in a sustainable way.

26 competition and non-competition venues are set to serve the upcoming Winter Games in three zones. And among the 13 venues in the Beijing zone, 8 are legacies from Beijing 2008, reported the Xinhua News Agency in April.

Beijing 2022's legacy plan covers the iconic "Water Cube," "Bird's Nest," and many other locations.

"Water Cube" to turn into an "Ice Cube" for curling competitions

The photo on top shows an interior view of the National Aquatics Center, or Water Cube, venue for swimming competitions of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. The center will be turned into a curling venue, as the computer generated image at the bottom shows. [File Photo: China Plus]

The photo on top shows an interior view of the National Aquatics Center, or Water Cube, venue for swimming competitions of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. The center will be turned into a curling venue, as the computer generated image at the bottom shows. [File Photo: China Plus]

The National Aquatics Center, which was Beijing 2008's swimming venue and hence dubbed the "Water Cube," will host curling competitions during the upcoming 2022 Winter Olympics.

According to Yang Qiyong, general manager of the National Aquatics Center, construction work for Beijing 2022 includes the renovation of a swimming pool into an ice surface, and new temporary stands with over 4,000 seats.

Yang told journalists with China News Service that the "water-to-ice" transformation requires over 20 procedures, involving draining the pool, refilling it with supporting structures and laying a removable ice-making system, with the whole process estimated to take about one month, including subsequent upgrades in cooling systems, humidity control, sports lighting, etc.

The change is reportedly feasible in reverse, which enables the center to switch from the "water model" and the "ice model" in the future.

"Bird's Nest" to host the opening and closing ceremonies of Beijing 2022

The photo on top shows an exterior view of the National Stadium, or

The photo on top shows an exterior view of the National Stadium, or "Bird's Nest," and the photo at the bottom shows an interior view of the stadium. [File Photo: China Plus]

The "Bird's Nest," officially the National Stadium, was the main stadium of the 2008 Summer Olympic Games.

With a large, complex, and unique steel structure, the stadium, dubbed "one of the key engineering marvels in the world," looks exactly like a bird's nest, hence the nickname.

As the site for the opening and closing ceremonies of Beijing 2008, the Bird's Nest impressed the world, constituting probably one of the most iconic symbols for the year 2008.

In 2022, the venue will again attract the spotlight from around the world:

The stadium is set to host the opening and closing ceremonies of Beijing 2022.

Renovation and transformation work is expected to begin in 2020. A preliminary plan has been made, but is yet to be confirmed, the Beijing News reported in late March.

How will the Bird's Nest impress us this time? We shall see.

Two 2008 venues to be reused for ice hockey events in 2022

A night view, photographed at the National Indoor Stadium [File Photo: VCG]

A night view, photographed at the National Indoor Stadium [File Photo: VCG]

The National Indoor Stadium and the Cadillac Arena (formerly the Wukesong Arena), both used during the Olympic Games in 2008, will be repurposed for ice hockey events during the 2022 Winter Games.

The National Indoor Stadium hosted volleyball tournaments during the 2008 Summer Olympics, while the Wukesong Arena was used for basketball preliminaries and finals.

The pair will reportedly both turn into arenas capable of hosting ice-based sports.

The photo on top shows an interior view of the Wukesong Arena, the photo at the bottom shows the arena turned into an ice hockey rink within one night in 2016. [File Photo: fawan.com]

The photo on top shows an interior view of the Wukesong Arena, the photo at the bottom shows the arena turned into an ice hockey rink within one night in 2016. [File Photo: fawan.com]

With official renovation plans yet to be made public, it's worth mentioning that Wukesong Arena has had rich experience already in transforming into an "ice world."

On September 5, 2016, the arena held its first ice hockey game. The match also marked the home opener of the Kunlun Red Star (KRS), China's first professional club, after it agreed to participate in the top-level Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) on June 25, 2016.

Chinese President Xi Jinping shakes hands with an ice hockey fan at the Wukesong Arena in Beijing, Feb. 24, 2017. [Photo: Xinhua]

Chinese President Xi Jinping shakes hands with an ice hockey fan at the Wukesong Arena in Beijing, Feb. 24, 2017. [Photo: Xinhua]

On February 24, 2017, Chinese President Xi Jinping met and encouraged ice hockey and skating fans in the arena.

Chinese President Xi Jinping poses for a group photo with ice hockey and skating fans at the Wukesong Arena in Beijing, Feb. 24, 2017. [Photo: Xinhua]

Chinese President Xi Jinping poses for a group photo with ice hockey and skating fans at the Wukesong Arena in Beijing, Feb. 24, 2017. [Photo: Xinhua]

Other existing venues that will be reused in 2022 include the Capital Indoor Stadium, which hosted volleyball matches for Beijing 2008. It will host figure skating and short track speed skating events in 2022; the Beijing International Convention Center, fencing hall and International Broadcast Centre (IBC) during the 2008 games, will serve as the main press center.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Liang Jun, Bianji)

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