Venues for 2022 Winter Olympics resume construction amid epidemic
By Ji Fang, Wang Liang, People’s Daily
Beijing is now making efforts to push ahead with venue construction for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in an orderly manner amid novel coronavirus pneumonia epidemic prevention and control.
Currently, 15 projects, including the National Speed Skating Oval, the National Aquatics Center, the National Alpine Skiing Center, the Yanqing Winter Olympic Village, and the Yanqing Mountain News Center have resumed construction to ensure timely completion.
Strong epidemic prevention and control measures are what come before the construction. Therefore, the three competition zones for the Winter Olympics in Beijing, Yanqing and Zhangjiakou made a quick response after the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, requiring projects to implement close-off management at sites and ensure regular disinfection and close monitoring of workers’ temperatures. These sites are also requested to report information on a daily basis, enhance dormitory management, and offer meals in shifts.
At the construction site of the National Alpine Skiing Center, a 600-meter-long track has been completed. Alpine skiing events have a high requirement for tracks’ surface hardness, so it calls for high precision in both making and compacting the snow.
To make the snow track meet standards, the project team had only two days off during the 7-day Chinese New Year holiday. They went back to the project site in Xiaohaituo Mountain in Yanqing, a district in northwest Beijing on the second day of the Chinese New Year.
The team had full concentration on and commitment to the project, and the data of temperature, solar illuminance and air velocity they collected will also serve future events to be held there.
At the Shougang Industrial Park in Beijing, the Beijing Organizing Committee for the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (BOCOG) has resumed work, and its staff are all wearing masks at the workplace. Before entering the industrial park and the office buildings, the staff have to have their body temperatures checked. In addition, the offices are disinfected and ventilated on a regular basis, and meals are delivered by the canteen to the staff to avoid cross-infection.
At present, the organizing committee’s external liaison and work deployment rely on telephone and video conferences.
On Feb. 17, the BOCOG held a video conference with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on the preparations for 2022 Winter Olympic Games.
Zhang Jiandong, vice mayor of Beijing and executive vice president of the BOCOG, said that this video conference reflected the understanding and support from the IOC when the Chinese people are fighting against the novel coronavirus epidemic.
At the conference, IOC vice president Juan Antonio Samaranch Jr. praised the decisive and efficient measures China has taken to combat the epidemic. He said the IOC will stand firmly with the BOCOG in the epidemic.
“We are very, very proud of (China’s) proficiency and dedication,” said Samaranch Jr., extending his confidence in China’s victory over the epidemic.