National Speed Skating Oval of Beijing 2022 to finish ice-making trials

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The National Speed Skating Oval of Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics in downtown Beijing is about to finish ice-making trials by the middle of this month, organizers said Monday.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Speed Skating Oval, locally known as the "Ice Ribbon", was among 12 competition venues for Beijing 2022 completed by the end of last year.

Ice-making trials in the "Ice Ribbon" started earlier this month. The site boasts the most extensive full ice design in Asia, with an ice surface area of 12,000 square meters.

Another highlight is that Beijing has introduced carbon dioxide refrigerants for the ice-making, the least toxic and most environmentally friendly natural refrigerants, in an effort to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

IOC Coordination Commission chairman Juan Antonio Samaranch spoke highly of the progress made by Beijing 2022 in its preparatory work despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

"The progress being made by Beijing 2022 has been truly remarkable," said Samaranch in a recent interview with Xinhua.

This has been reflected through positive feedback from several International Federations that visited Beijing in recent weeks, including the pre-homologation of the sliding center conducted by the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (IBSF) and International Luge Federation (FIL).

"We have seen an excellently prepared track and were impressed by the smoothly and perfectly organized event which was held under strict hygiene measurements due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This was definitely the most impressive pre-homologation we have seen," said IBSF President Ivo Ferriani.

With competition venues completed by the end of last year and plans for 'One Year to Go' activities developing, excitement is really beginning to build. In the near future, the official 2022 medal and torch designs will also be released.

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