High-tech Olympics: how China is preparing for the Winter Games

According to WHO, more than 15 million people a week are infected with the new Omicron strain on the planet.  And against this difficult background, China is preparing for the Winter Olympics in Beijing. Opening less than three weeks.

The main song of the Beijing Olympics in China is already a major hit. Rhythmic movements with hearts folded from the hands so beloved by the Chinese. And the unpretentious tune hummed by schoolchildren and office clerks, doctors in hospital corridors and pensioners in ordinary Beijing courtyards. The pre-Olympic fever is also the yard Olympic starts, when Beijing grandmothers arrange an impromptu Olympic torch relay. And then they try with interest what it is – curling. Or here is hockey, albeit on grass and with a ball. But the main thing is the Olympic atmosphere. With Chinese characteristics.

Peking’s favorite winter pastime is sleigh rides on Houma Lake. While, of course, not an Olympic sport. But after all, figure skating with short track did not immediately become one. And so, perhaps, there will be another Chinese contribution to the Winter Olympic Movement, which, by the way, will be replenished with seven new disciplines at the Games in Beijing.

While the guests of the Olympics are just getting ready to fly to Beijing, the city itself and its Olympic environs are the last preparations for the meeting of numerous delegations. On Tiananmen, right in front of the gate with a portrait of Mao, a huge installation was installed. “We are looking forward to the Olympics! Look how carefully we clean everything. There will be as many guests from all over the world here as we have never had!” say the locals.

In the village of ChingLiu – this is the Zhangjiakou Olympic cluster here, there will be three of them in total – a couple of years ago, local residents grazed sheep on the local slopes, now they teach tourists to ski on the same slopes. From the peaks, picturesque views of the Olympic village open up.

Chunni village is almost like our Krasnaya Pollyanna. Everything for skiers and snowboarders. Expensive and very expensive hotels, branded equipment and sports equipment. When the local business was just opening all this, they really counted on the Olympics and its many guests. But due to anti-epidemic measures, all this here will be closed for the duration of the Games.

China has been waiting for these Games so much that even in its thoughts it cannot allow them to be postponed, let alone canceled, which is why there are severe sanitary restrictions. Beijing is already closed off from neighboring Tianjin – several cases of “omicron” have been identified there, and all 15 million Tianjin residents are being driven through total PCR testing for the second time in a week. And foreigners arriving at the capital’s airport are immediately taken to isolated hotels, from where you can get only to the Olympic facilities, only by special transport and only along a certain route.

“All participants in the Games will be in a closed space throughout the entire Olympics, which includes all three competition areas and residential buildings,” explained the deputy director of the Pandemic Prevention Office of the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games Organizing Committee.

The service technicians and volunteers have already been assigned to the facilities, and the exit from the “Olympic bubble” is closed for them now, although there are still three weeks before the Games. This is only one of the three Olympic villages, but, as they say, the central one. Twenty residential buildings, which will accommodate almost 2.5 thousand athletes.

Inside the village, the organizers promise to create all conditions so that life in a closed space does not seem too closed. Communications and beauty salons, shops and restaurants… Prices, however, are higher than the average Beijing ones. But a nice bonus – bright red lanterns. The Olympics falls on the main Chinese holiday – New Year according to the lunar calendar. And Chinese flavor will be in abundance.

“We thought through all the performances on the venues in such a way as to weave elements of Chinese culture and art into them. Because the Olympics are not only a celebration of sports,” says Qin Zheng, director of the cultural program of the 2022 Olympics.

Beijing plans to make the Games a showcase of Chinese achievements. The latest environmentally friendly solutions were used in the construction of the facilities. The athletes will be transported by hydrogen-powered shuttles. And the Olympic flame will be lit at the opening ceremony, also in a special way. All to save energy and reduce emissions.

This Olympiad has already been called the “Olympiad of High Technologies”. And the Olympic studio, equipped right in the carriage of a high-speed train, is probably the best illustration of this. Firstly, a high-speed train, which in itself is a symbol of the speed at which China is developing, and a television studio – in the era of coved, millions of people will still watch the Games on screens, and not in the stands, and all hope is for a high-quality broadcast. And here – a stable signal with 5G technologies, even at a speed of 350 kilometers per hour and in blind tunnels.

“I hope these Games will energize the whole world, which is now divided and needs to unite, and sports are the best source of such energy,” said Tian Wei, an anchor of CGTN TV channel.

Those who threaten these Games with a boycott are no longer even reacted in China. But a kind of greeting was sent to Western politicians: the Chinese Olympians will wear a uniform made just in Xinjiang. Made from Xinjiang cotton and camel hair.