Beijing's bid for Winter Olympics steps up a gear
Updated: 2014-12-19 16:36
By Sun Xiaochen(chinadaily.com.cn)
A 18,000 sq m skating rink in the Iceworld Sports Land besides the MasterCard Center in Beijing. [Photo by Sun Xiaochen/chinadaily.com.cn]
An outdoor ice park has opened at Beijing's MasterCard Center, kicking off a series of winter sports to promote Beijing's bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics.
To meet growing public demand for outdoor winter entertainment, the Bloomage International Investment Group, owner of the MasterCard Center, has introduced Iceworld Sports Land, a festival originating in the Netherlands, by opening a 15,000-square-meter skating park on the flat square of the Olympic venue.
A 1,800 sq m skating rink, 600 sq m bumper-car rink and 10 m high ice slide feature modern ice-making technologies from the Netherlands that can maintain operation even in warm areas below 30 degrees Celsius. The rinks can be taken apart and transported with mobile technology.
Since the start of a trial operation on Dec 9, Iceworld Park attracted thousands of visitors and its admission price of 80 yuan ($13) for a 90-minute session, is expected to attract more fans, said operators.
"Scenes which saw people packed in the park showed that the Chinese people are getting more interested in winter sports with Beijing bidding for the 2022 Winter Olympics. It gave us confidence to promote the ice park in China and opened a huge market for us," said Tan Juhua, manager of the park.
The opening of Iceworld Park is just one activity in the Chinese capital and surrounding city of Zhangjiakou in Hebei province this winter to promote sports and the Olympic bid.
More than 2,000 skiing enthusiasts attended the launch of the 14th China Chongli Skiing Festival in Chongli county, Zhangjiakou on Dec 6 before the General Administration of Sport kicked off the National Public Ice and Snow Season in Beijing on Dec 16.
A further skiing carnival will be staged early next year in Yanqing county, northwest of Beijing where 2022 Winter Olympics' alpine skiing events are proposed to be held.
The Beijing leg of the Freestyle Ski Aerials World Cup takes place this weekend at the National Stadium and the Figure Skating World Championships will be in Shanghai from March 23-29.
"These festival events and high-level competitions will further boost the public's passion for winter sports while promoting knowledge and skills. This is crucial for us to win the bid for the 2022 Olympics," said Zhao Yinggang, deputy secretary-general of the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games Bid Committee.