Beijing's Winter Games staff hail Pyeongchang training mission
Beijing 2022 organizers say their training and observational mission to the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics and a subsequent recent summit to discuss their new knowledge has provided them with invaluable insights and lessons.
Just three months after the Olympic flame extinguished in the South Korean county, the legacy of the 2018 Games is already benefiting the next host, with Games staff, government officials, venue owners and other stakeholders gathering to discuss over 100 topics over the course of nine days at Beijing 2022's headquarters.
"It was a fruitful brainstorm that will help shed light on the importance of scientific planning, construction progress and Gamestime operation for hosting successful Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in 2022," said Cai Qi, president of the Beijing 2022 organizing committee on Tuesday.
"Our preparation and organization shall focus on the demands of venue operation and competitions during the Games and strike a balance between high standards and frugality."
From last November to March, Beijing 2022 sent 254 of its staff to observe and work side-by-side with their South Korean counterparts in the build-up to and during the Pyeongchang Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Given Beijing 2022's lack of know-how for snow-based events, particular attention was paid to Pyeongchang's operations at its skiing and snowboarding venues.
Xu Jicheng, deputy director of media and communication of Beijing 2022, returned home with piles of notes, documents and video footage from Pyeongchang after working for more than two months as an apprentice at the Jeongseon Alpine Center.
"China is a rookie in both competing and organizing alpine skiing, so we have to accelerate our staff training and planning specifically for details such as making densely packed snow and course grooming," said Xu.
Xiaohaituo Mountain in the Yanqing district of Beijing will host alpine skiing, luge, skeleton and bobsled.
Xiaohaituo is located at a higher altitude than the Jeongseon center and will have a more crowded functional zone, making logistics particularly challenging, according to a report by Liu Yumin, Xu's colleague at the Pyeongchang venue.
"We should adapt to our own situation and consider all possible scenarios during the Games to make the venue not only good enough to host the competition but also fit for local development after the Games," said Liu.
Meanwhile, further work is required on the Beijing Games' emergency mechanisms, given skiing events are vulnerable to weather changes, said Tong Lixin, the sports department director of the organizing committee.
Due to strong winds, 19 competition sessions were suspended or canceled in Pyeongchang, which had a knock-on effect for other events, according to Tong's report.
"It's a lesson that Beijing shall learn," said Tong.
After their stint in Pyeongchang, Beijing has developed 41 core staff members capable of holding critical roles, according to the organizing committee.
"The brainstorming sessions have cleared our heads and the staff-sharing program on the Pyeongchang frontline has born fruit in the form of a deep talent pool of our own," said Yan Cheng, the committee's human resource director.