National Winter Games put incing on Olympic legacy(3)

2024-02-28 08:16:48China Daily Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

Green, sustainable

Promoted as a "green, sustainable and shared" event, the winter nationals maximized the use of existing facilities, such as the National Sliding Center in Beijing's Yanqing district and the National Ski Jumping Center in Zhangjiakou, Hebei province, which co-hosted the 2022 Games.

The reuse of Olympic venues prevented unnecessary investment in highly technical and costly construction, while guaranteeing venues for national competitions were up to Olympic standards.

A venue for bobsled, skeleton and luge events, the Yanqing sliding center has been busy since the Olympics. In November, the 1.9-kilometer track hosted an International Bobsled and Skeleton Federation World Cup race.

Training facilities and performance analysis methods developed for the Beijing Olympics also benefited athletes' preparations for the national games.

Wang Zhiyu and Zhu Zeyangxu, who represented East China's Fujian province and were surprise runners-up in the mixed doubles curling, owed a lot to Beijing 2022's "ripple effect", said their coach Li Hongbo.

"We never expected we would end up on the podium at our curling debut at the National Winter Games," Li, a former curler, said. It was the first medal Fujian had ever won at the games after the team's narrow 7-6 defeat by a more experienced pair from Heilongjiang province.

Li said following Beijing 2022, curling, an indoor winter sport unaffected by weather conditions, has gained traction in Fujian. "Our athletes now have more competition opportunities and the sport has drawn more fans in the province," Li said, adding his charges learned from reviewing competition videos and postgame analyses. "This strategy quickly builds experience and trains our athletes," Li said.

Derek Livingston, the Canadian coach of China's star snowboarder Liu Jiayu, applauded the rapid development of skiing facilities in China since Beijing 2022.

"In Canada, we have only one world-class halfpipe. However, in China I've encountered at least three world-class halfpipes, with another one under construction for the national team. It's impressive to see the level of support and resources China offers to its athletes," said the 33-year-old former pro who helped Liu win the silver medal in the women's halfpipe competition in Hulunbuir.

Thirty volunteers who worked at Beijing 2022 also attended the Winter Games to help organizers ensure events were run to Olympic standards.

"To serve as a volunteer at a major sporting event again brought back all my fond memories of the Beijing Winter Olympics. I really appreciate this second chance," said Qin Jiaxin, a graduate student from Beijing Normal University, who left his family on the third day of the Chinese New Year holiday to travel to Hulunbuir.


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