All reconstruction projects of 2022 Winter Olympics venues to start this year

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All the reconstruction projects of the 2022 Winter Olympics will begin this year, and precision weather forecast will be made every 10 minutes and at every 100 meters between spots, according to Zhang Jiandong, vice mayor of Beijing and executive vice president of the Beijing Organizing Committee for the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.  

All reconstruction projects to begin this year 

The 2018 construction objectives for the Winter Olympics venues and supporting infrastructure were fulfilled, the organizing of events and related services is steadily progressing, and snow and ice sports are becoming more popular in Beijing, Zhang said at the ongoing second session of the 13th National People's Congress on March 6. 

The vice mayor said the preparations for the Winter Olympics this year will be even more competition- and detail-oriented, and construction of the stadiums and venues and infrastructure for the two events will be sped up. He added that the upgrading of venues will also begin in 2019.  

Zhang also mentioned that the Alpine Skiing World Cup, as the first test match for the 2022 Winter Olympics, will be held in Yanqing in February 2020. All supporting facilities in the National Alpine Skiing Center in Yanqing are scheduled to complete this October.

In addition, the Beijing-Zhangjiakou High-speed Railway and the Yanqing-Chongli Expressway will be completed and opened to traffic by the end of this year. Other infrastructure facilities and venues will be completed at the same time. 

Offering precision weather forecasting

Zhang called for adherence to the unified standards in the three competition areas in event organization and service guarantee. The organizing committee will continue to improve the post-game service guarantee in terms of accommodation, transportation, food and beverage, and security. In particular, greater efforts will be made to develop medical emergency response, such as helicopter rescue.

Nevertheless, Zhang said his major concern is wind and temperature.

He said that snow venues will be hosting 70 percent of the gold medal matches in the Winter Olympics, but the venues are most affected by the weather, especially wind. For example, in Yanqing, the starting point of alpine skiing is at an altitude of 2,200 meters, where wind speed is very fast, which may affect the performance of athletes.

"This will pose a big test for weather forecasting," Zhang said. Weather forecast technicians are conducting drills and tests according to the requirements of the International Olympic Committee, aiming to provide accurate weather forecast services at intervals of 100 meters and 10 minutes.  

He said that the organizing committee started to set up multiple meteorological monitoring stations including radar meteorological stations two years ago in Zhangjiakou and Yanqing to service the Olympics.

Zhang also said that the snow used in previous Olympic Games was all manmade, because natural snow could not meet the requirements of the games. In the 2022 Winter Olympics, the snow used in some events held in Yanqing, such as alpine skiing, will actually be a kind of ice-like snow with hard ice crusts on the surface, which will be produced by spraying water when making snow. This process would help to tackle the relatively high temperature in the area during competitions.

Mascot to be announced later this year

According to Zhang, a thousand-day countdown will be held in the first half of this year. In the second half, the organizing committee will announce the mascot and take ideas from the public on the Olympic songs and slogans. 

He added that the committee will further open the market, attracting enterprises on sponsorship. A recruitment action plan will be carried out to introduce and cultivate more talents. In addition, the committee will further popularize winter sports, spread relevant knowledge to schools and communities, and hold important competitions.

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