National Aquatics Center poised to boost ice, water sports among public

By Zhu Bochen
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, August 10, 2022
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The entrance of the Ice Sports Center in the south square of the National Aquatics Center. [Photo by Lin Liyao/]

China's National Fitness Day marked the official opening of the underground ice sports arena at the National Aquatics Center in Beijing on Aug. 8. This makes the venue the only dual-Olympic facility in China which provides both ice and water sports services simultaneously.

The venue's Ice Sports Center kicked off trial operations on Aug. 1, with tickets and appointment scheduling services available via the dual-Olympic venue's official WeChat account. A ticket for two hours of ice sports costs 70 yuan per person on weekdays and 90 yuan per person on weekends and holidays.

People experience ice skating in the Ice Sports Center. [Photo by Lin Liyao/]

The center plans to roll out ice sports services in a phased manner. This will include introducing ticket arrangements for ice skating, offering training sessions for ice skating, figure skating, and ice hockey, establishing professional coaching teams, and hosting ice sports competitions for professionals and enthusiasts.

In addition, the center's 900 square meter standard curling rink with four 45x5-meter tracks will soon receive guests, providing an Olympic-standard curling experience. As a designated training center of the World Curling Federation (WCF), the venue will cooperate further with WCF and China Curling Association to train professionals and promote curling activities among the public.

Children experience ice skating in the Ice Sports Center. [Photo by Lin Liyao/]

Choosing to open the Ice Sports Center on National Fitness Day reflects that the venue, either the Water Cube or the Ice Cube, continues to follow its mission of providing first-class sporting and cultural services to the public.

The Ice Sports Center is a sporting complex invested, built, and managed by the Beijing State-owned Assets Management Co. Ltd. It is located 11 meters underneath the National Aquatics Center's south square. The Ice Sports Center encompasses a 1,830 square meter standard ice rink and a standard four-track curling rink, with operations covering 8,000 square meters.

As a legacy of the 2022 Winter Games, the center will promote Winter Olympic culture, popularize curling sports, offer public fitness programs, provide ice sports training sessions, host high-level competitions, organize tourism events, and stage cultural performances.

The National Aquatics Center has been dubbed "Water Cube" since it was built in January 2008. As a world-class water sports venue, it hosted multiple events in the 2008 Summer Games, such as swimming, diving, and artistic swimming. The venue was converted into an "Ice Cube" to host curling events in the 2022 Winter Games.

The venue has been working on its phased reopening recently. Its Water Park and licensed Winter Olympics merchandise store were the first facilities to receive guests on July 9. Moreover, the venue's warm-up pool, located in its Henry Fok Ying Tung Hall, kicked off trial operations of its swimming training programs on July 21.

The pool has been upgraded with a smart system that provides all visitors with digital cards for membership and training services. Visitors can access all kinds of swimming-related services using only their phones.

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