Winter Olympics trivia: Why are there pine branches along skiing tracks at ski jumping venues?

At the National Ski Jumping Center, located in the Zhangjiakou competition zone for the Beijing 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, lines of pine trees can be seen planted at intervals along the ski slopes. Why are there pine branches along the skiing tracks?According to Wang Jingxian, venue and infrastructure manager of the Guyangshu venue cluster under the venue planning and construction department of the Beijing 2022 Organizing Committee, it is a traditional practice to plant pine branches alongside the skiing tracks when building ski jumping venues. The plants are used to mark the landing point of the ski jumpers.Just like a plane which is about to land needs to know where the runway is, the pine branches are there to serve as distance markers, letting ski jumpers know how far they are and adjust their skiing movements for better and safer landings.Pine branches, which are bendy, have always been adopted at ski jumping venues because they won't affect the movements of the ski jumpers or affect ski jump safety. They can also help avoid any damage caused by the ski jumpers to the ski slope.

Children’s paintings prepared by Beijing 2022 Organizing Committee touch Olympians' hearts

(Photo/WeChat account of the Central Committee of the Communist Youth League)Children’s paintings, which are among the many beautiful gifts prepared for athletes by the Beijing Organizing Committee for the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (BOCOG), have touched the hearts of Olympians.(Photo/WeChat account of the Central Committee of the Communist Youth League)Britt Cox, an Australian freestyle skier, said in a press conference that “I opened the backpack from the Chinese Beijing Olympic Committee, and inside was a drawing from a young Chinese child. And it was of a skier, a female skier, standing on the mountain holding her skis. It was really special I think. For me, one of my values and passions as an athlete is to inspire young people and to see that and to receive that was really heartwarming. So I put the picture up on my wall, so that I have that to look at all week.”Each athlete received a backpack from the BOCOG as a gift, which contains one child’s painting. A total of 7,500 paintings were selected from 43,000 works by young children across the country, showing the children’s understanding of the grand sporting event as well as a way to send their best wishes to the athletes.(Photo/WeChat account of the Central Committee of the Communist Youth League)(Photo/WeChat account of the Central Committee of the Communist Youth League)(Photo/WeChat account of the Central Committee of the Communist Youth League)(Photo/WeChat account of the Central Committee of the Communist Youth League)(Photo/WeChat account of the Central Committee of the Communist Youth League)(Photo/WeChat account of the Central Committee of the Communist Youth League)(Photo/WeChat account of the Central Committee of the Communist Youth League)

Athletes’ heartwarming moments at Beijing 2022 convey message of unity, friendship and respect

Despite being rivals in their respective competitions, athletes from around the world have conveyed a message of unity, friendship and respect to the world, creating some heartwarming moments at the ongoing Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games.① China’s Gu (right) and Switzerland’s Mathilde Gremaud (left), come together to console Tess Ledeux of France after the women’s freeski big air final on Feb. 8. (People’s Daily/Li Ge)② Chinese athlete Ahenear Adake (left) and German veteran rival Claudia Pechstein compete in the women’s 3,000m speed skating final on Feb. 5. (Photo/Wang Xianmin)③ Chinese athletes Fan Suyuan (second from left), and Ling Zhi (third from left), present a set of commemorative pin badges featuring Bing Dwen Dwen, the panda mascot of the Games, to the U.S. duo of Victoria Persinger and Christopher Plys (first from left) after their mixed doubles curling contest at Beijing 2022 on Feb.5. (Photo/Cui Nan)At the women’s freeski big air final on Feb. 8, China’s freestyle skier Gu Ailing clinched the title from France’s Tess Ledeux on the last jump. Just moments after Ledeux finished, Gu and Switzerland’s Mathilde Gremaud, the bronze medalist, came together to console Ledeux.“I want to express my gratitude toward Ledeux. She took on the most difficult jump, which inspired me to challenge myself. I told her that I want to share the gold with her,” said Gu. “I’m sad, but I’m also proud of Gu. This is an amazing competition,” said Ledeux.“We get on very well with each other, and we all have passion for the sport. This helps us to become better, and together we push the women’s freeski big air to new heights,” said Gremaud.Fair competition and mutual inspiration between athletes can be seen everywhere at Beijing 2022. After successfully advancing to the final of the women’s halfpipe contest in snowboarding by ranking third in the qualification game, Chinese snowboarder Cai Xuetong stated that Chloe Kim, who ranked first, had inspired her.“She is a very talented ...

A Winter Spectacle: Beijing 2022 Opens

A staff member of the Russian Olympic Committee holding and reading the Science and Technology Daily Weekly Edition at Beijing 2022 Main Media Center. (PHOTO: S&T DAILY)President Xi Jinping on the night of February 4 declared the 24th Olympic Winter Games open at the National Stadium in Beijing, at a dazzling opening ceremony.Once again, Beijing presented a global audience with spectacular performances and special effects, highlighted by Olympic rings that emerged from a giant ice cube.Sports play an important role in uniting and inspiring people, which are especially needed during a time when the world is still reeling from the negative effects of COVID -19. This sentiment is echoed in the updated Olympic motto Faster, Higher, Stronger – Together approved by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) last July. Together, the newly added term in the motto, recognizes the unifying power of sport and the importance of solidarity, according to the IOC.Despite the current division, conflict and mistrust in the world, it is possible to be fierce rivals, while at the same time living peacefully and respectfully together, said IOC President Thomas Bach at the opening ceremony.The ceremony also demonstrated solidarity via a large snowflake, which was formed by uniting all the placards bearing the name of each participating team.The large snowflake was later revealed to be the cauldron to hold the Olympic flame. For the first time ever, the last torch delivering the flame was used as the key torch to hold the flame, which put rigorous requirements on the torch from a technical perspective.Scientists had run numerous tests on the connection reliability and environmental suitability of the torch to ensure long-time combustion and connection with gas, electricity and signal control when it was plugged in to the cauldron.The flame is also much smaller than previous versions as a manifestation of the idea of low carbon and sustainable development.The spectacular Olympic ...

Indescribable feelings, amazing games: Skiing siblings from Israel make Olympic debut in Beijing 2022

Barnabas Szollos of Israel competes during alpine skiing men's alpine combined at the National Alpine Skiing Centre in Yanqing District, Beijing, capital of China, Feb. 10, 2022. (Xinhua/Chen Yichen)For Barnabas and Noa Szollos, a pair of siblings and the only two alpine skiing athletes representing Israel at 2022 Winter Olympics, the steep ski slope in Beijing marks an important step in their athletic career. This is their first time in Beijing, as well as their Olympic debut.“[The Beijing Winter Olympics] is an unexpected surprise. We’ve been warmly welcomed here, and we are really happy and grateful,” 19-year-old Noa, who previously participated in three competitions, women giant slalom, women’s slalom and the Super-G, told People’s Daily Online.Echoing his sister, 23-year-old Barnabas, who won 6th place in the men's combined race on Thursday, beating Israel's previous record in this event, noted that the experience of competing in Beijing is indescribable and amazing.“The ski slopes here are amazing, and the Super-G course is also deep and good. [All the facilities] are just the things you really want,” he added.Unforgettable MemoriesFor the siblings, their lives in the Olympic village and their experiences hitting the ski slopes are filled with surprises.Beijing’s pandemic control measures have put the siblings’ minds at ease. Noa is amazed to see how a big event like the Winter Olympics is so well-organized despite the COVID-19 pandemic.“We have disinfection stations everywhere, andexcept for wearing masks and daily COVID-19 tests, we really don’t feel the weight of the pandemic, [which] is under control extremely well here. It has made the games much smoother than I thought,” she said“With all those regulations, you don’t feel like you are under some kind of lockdown. You feel free and can do anything you want here, which is really impressive,” she added.For the young pair, exchanging pins with Chinese volunteers and athletes from other nations is also ...

Beijing 2022 ice master Remy Boehler: The world will see spectacular competitions

Remy Boehler, a French ice expert, together with his Chinese colleagues, has endeavored to create ideal ice surfaces in the Capital Indoor Stadium in Beijing that can both satisfy the needs of short track speed skaters and figure skaters from various parts of the world, as figure skating and short track speed skating competitions of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics have been arranged to be staged on the same rink in the venue.In 1992, Boehler, who was 16, received his first Olympics assignment: driving ice resurfacer for the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville, which was also the first time that he had engaged in ice-making work, Boehler told People’s Daily during an interview.Remy Boehler (middle), a French ice expert in charge of the ice-making work of the Capital Indoor Stadium in Beijing for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, works with his colleagues at the venue. (Photo/Courtesy of the Capital Indoor Stadium)Since then, Boehler has served many major winter sports events, including Winter Olympics and world championship, accumulating rich experience in ice-making, according to the expert.After finishing ice-making work for figure skating and short track speed skating competitions at the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games, Boehler was invited by the Beijing Organizing Committee for the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (BOCOG) for the ice-making work at the Capital Indoor Stadium, and then quickly joined the preparations for the Games.For the goal of delivering a splendid Winter Olympics, Boehler has cooperated closely with Chinese team for nearly four years.The biggest challenge in the ice-making work at the Capital Indoor Stadium is that figure skaters and short track speed skaters need different ice surfaces, according to Boehler, who added that the ice-making team needed to carry out meticulous study to create perfect ice surfaces for both events.While figure skaters prefer softer ice surface which enables them to better perform jumps, short track s...

Beijing Winter Olympics mirror of positive, prosperous, open China

The international community has been full of praise for China’s arrangements and preparations for the Beijing Olympic Winter Games, and believes that from the grand sports event it sees a colorful, three-dimensional and comprehensive China in the new era and understands better China’s openness, confidence, courage and sense of responsibility.Photo taken on Jan. 29, 2022, shows a decoration featuring the Beijing 2022 at the Xuanwu Lake scenic area, Nanjing city, east China’s Jiangsu province. (People’s Daily Online/ Liu Jianhua)“The Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 was well organized and the opening ceremony was splendid. The Year of the Tiger symbolizes courage, strength and determination, all of which are excellent qualities displayed by the Chinese people,” said Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg.Noting that China has overcome the difficulties brought by the pandemic to host the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022, Kyrgyz President Sadyr Zhaparov said that the opening ceremony of the Games, which was so beautiful, has demonstrated the true Olympic spirit and will bring the world more solidarity, friendship and hope.Through the Beijing 2022, the world sees the positive mentality of China, which makes friends and guests from every corner of the world feel warmly welcomed.Ahead of the opening ceremony of the Beijing Winter Olympics, residents of Beijing and north China’s Hebei province performed square dance at the National Stadium, or the “Bird’s Nest”, in Beijing, to welcome guests from across the globe. It’s believed that the special pre-show of the opening ceremony vividly manifested the vitality and vigor of the Chinese people in their daily life.From the modern technological elements in the performances of the opening ceremony and the big smiles on the faces of Olympic volunteers to Chinese athletes’ impressive performances in competitions and Chinese people’s great enthusiasm for ice and snow sports, China’s spirit of struggle and positive mentality can be seen eve...

Guterres: We need to come together as in the Games

In an interview with China Media Group, United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games will bring the message of unity to the people in the world. The UN chief attended the opening ceremony of the Games at the National Stadium in Beijing.

Olympic dream, not smoke, flies high at repurposed steel mill

BEIJING, Feb. 10 (Xinhua) -- Against the striking backdrop of enormous cooling towers, Olympic skiers launch themselves in the air with awe-inspiring twists and flips.The stunning scene has been catapulted into the spotlight as many viewers and athletes were impressed by the large ski ramp built on the site of the repurposed Shougang Group's steel mill, over 20 km away from the iconic Tian'anmen Square in downtown Beijing.The Shougang Big Air is the world's first permanent big air venue for long-term usage. It is set to host freestyle skiing and snowboard big air events, which will offer four gold medals altogether at the Winter Olympics. China's prodigy Gu Ailing claimed historic gold here on Tuesday.The venue is amazing. The big air jump rides so well and it is such a cool place to have the jump in. I really love it, said British freestyle skier Kirsty Muir.Like the breathtaking skiing feats, the story behind how the steel mill was transformed into a cultural and sports complex without erasing its industrial heritage is also intriguing.Founded in 1919, Shougang, a leading heavyweight steelmaker in China, once hit a record of 10 million tonnes of annual output, with more than 200,000 workers at the peak. It contributed to around 10 percent of Beijing's GDP before 2008 when the capital city hosted the Summer Olympics.As part of the city's economic restructuring and pollution control initiatives, Shougang started relocating its production base to neighboring Hebei Province in 2005, where the steel conglomerate has built high-end and eco-friendly iron and steel production lines.The steel-making operations in Beijing were halted in 2010, which left a large stretch of industrial heritage on the original sprawling campus. Rusty, aging smokestacks, blast furnaces and factories remain but without smoke coming out of them.With China's successful bid to host the 2022 Winter Olympics, the industrial heart of the Chinese capital has taken on a new look as the headquarters of...

How China’s 5G technology empowers Beijing Winter Olympics

5G base stations are seen at the National Alpine Ski Center in the Yanqing competition area for the Beijing 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games on December 14, 2021. Photo: Shen Weiduo/ GTFrom broadcasting services and real-time weather forecasts, to timing and scoring during events, as well as transportation and medical services, China's 5G technology has been adopted in numerous aspects of the ongoing Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games, which is said to be the first ever Winter Olympics with full 5G coverage.I think that one of the biggest highlights of high technologies during the Games is the full coverage of 5G signals. Using this breakthrough, we have 19 innovative application scenarios, making the event a real smart one, Wang Chuanbao, deputy general manager of China Unicom Beijing, told the Global Times in a recent interview.China Unicom, one of the biggest telecom firms in China, is the official telecommunication services partner for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games.The most tangible 5G technology at the Beijing Games is the 5G cloud-based broadcast technology, which has come to enable people to enjoy the event synchronously, anytime and anywhere, as the COVID-19 kept would-be audience outside of the stadium.Compared with traditional broadcasting that is mainly based on on-site production, the essence of cloud-based broadcasting is concentrated in a 5G backpack about the size of a schoolbag, which is able to follow the footsteps of on-camera reporters and collect on-site scenes, achieving real-time transmission, Wang said.In terms of medical services, the 5G smart ambulance used at the Beijing Games looks no different from ordinary ambulances, but in addition to common medical equipment such as monitors, electrocardiographs and defibrillators, it has data collection equipment such as cameras and emergency gateways.Medical staff on the ambulance can transmit relevant data and information to the emergency center via the 5G emergency gateway, realiz...

This dough figurine artist was asked by Albert II, Prince of Monaco for two Bing Dwen Dwens

Prior to a welcoming banquet held on Feb. 5 at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, hosted by Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan, a demonstration of China’s intangible cultural heritage was held for guests. A practitioner of the traditional craft of dough figurines, Lang Jiaziyu, was also invited to demonstrate this distinctive and traditional craft to the distinguished guests.Lang recalled that there were many distinguished guests who stopped in front of his booth, but what really made him and his dough figurines famous was the moment when Prince Albert II of Monaco stopped in front of his booth, a moment which then went viral on social media.Lang was just about to finish a dough figurine of Bing Dwen Dwen, the mascot of the Beijing 2022 Winter Games, when Prince Albert II stopped by his stall. After inviting Prince Albert II to finish the last step of the dough figurine, Lang told the prince that he could keep it if he liked it. However, Lang then noticed some hesitation from the prince, who then followed with a question. He wanted to know if Lang could “do him a “big favor”. Lang was puzzled as to what kind of “big favor” he could offer the Prince. Prince Albert II then asked Lang if he could make an extra Bing Dwen Dwen figure, so that the Prince could give one to each of his twin children.Lang said that the reason why he chose to craft the dough figurine of Bing Dwen Dwen was because he wanted to find a relaxing and easy way to interact with the distinguished international guests, and Bing Dwen Dwen was the best fit because of its simple, yet adorable appearance. For Lang Jiaziyu, making the dough figurines of Bing Dwen Dwen is not just about introducing the mascot itself, but also an opportunity to share this traditional craft with people from around the world.

International students team up for Olympic song

  [Screen grab/Music video When the Ice is Shinning]More than 100 international students at Chinese universities from more than 50 countries have recorded a song, When the Ice is Shinning, to convey their best wishes for the ongoing Beijing Winter Olympics.The five-minute bilingual song, in Chinese and English, was recorded separately by students from different cities and later mixed together.The tune was composed by Shin Moon-sub, a South Korean student, with the Chinese lyrics written by Chinese student Zhang Haomiao and the English ones by Francisco Arriaga Gomez from Mexico. They are all studying at Shenzhen University and are members of the Study in China Cloud Chorus.Part of the lyrics go:Beijing is waiting for you all. Get united under this light.Be a part of this brotherhood, sharing the spirit, competing together just as one.Raise your glass, reach the stars, follow our dreams, it is in our hands.Light the torch, so we can begin, memories to be made.Shin said he has a special affinity with songs for the Olympics because the theme song Hand in Hand for the 1988 Summer Games in Seoul had warmed the hearts of many and was still highly relevant today.He also liked the theme song for the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics, You and Me, which had a more soothing, warmer rhythm that touched people's hearts, he said.Composing a song for the Beijing Winter Olympics was one of his major plans last year, and he wanted to bring warmth, courage and strength to people around the world who are still in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, he told People's Daily.Shin started composing the song in March and asked for Zhang's help with its Chinese lyrics because his Chinese was not good enough.The Olympics is a global sports event, so it is very fitting to have international students from all over the world record the song, he added.Hannah Robinson, who is studying at Northeast Normal University in Changchun, Jilin province, and hails from the United States, said just like the Ga...

Beijing Winter Olympics boost China’s winter sports economy

The Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games, currently in full swing, have ignited the Chinese people’s enthusiasm for winter sports, and have also boosted China’s ice and snow sports industry.Trips related to ice and snow tourism soared from 170 million in the 2016-2017 period to 254 million in the 2020-2021 period, and are expected to hit 305 million during the 2021-2022 period, according to a report on the development of China’s ice and snow tourism in 2022 recently released by the China Tourism Academy.A skier from Heilongjiang Province participates in a training session at Yabuli Ski Resort in Harbin, northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, Jan. 21, 2022. Yabuli, located in northeastern China, is the cradle of Chinese winter sports. Boasting of professional ski area, Yabuli Resort hosted many national, continental and international winter games like FIS snowboard world cup, World Winter Universiade and the Asian Winter Games. (Xinhua/Xie Jianfei)The surging figure is largely attributable to the Beijing Winter Olympics, said Lyu Ning, dean of the School of Tourism Sciences at Beijing International Studies University. She added that this trend is characterized by a growing number of repeated visitors, which is a manifestation of the huge potential of China’s winter sports economy.According to China's development plan for winter sports from 2016 to 2025, the total scale of the industry will reach one trillion yuan (about $157.2 billion) by 2025. To fully tap the industry’s potential and to give it a boost, Lyu suggested developing “winter sports plus” programs, that is, integrating the ice-and-snow economy with other industries such as culture, tourism, sports, sanatorium, and media. In addition, efforts should be made to build international winter sports resorts and fields for high-level ski competitions.Lyu observed that winter sports tourism destinations should highlight their own features such as hot springs, local culture and customs, in order to build their own i...

Ice-and-snow fever grows in southern China

Southern China is going through “ice and snow fever” as people there have taken to participating in a diverse range of winter sports and related recreational activities in the region, and making trips to take part in other ice and snow activities in northern China.People enjoy skating at an ice rink in a shopping mall in southwest China’s Chongqing municipality. (Xinhua/Zhou Wenchong)In Chongqing municipality, the order volume for ice and snow tourism-related products jumped by more than 30 percent from a year ago during the seven-day Spring Festival holiday this year, data from the municipal commission of culture and tourism development showed.Statistics from Hubei Province’s department of culture and tourism revealed that popular ice and snow tourism destinations like Jiugong Mountain Scenic Area in Xianning city and Bailihuang Ski Resort in Yichang city received over 30,000 visitors during the holiday, respectively, up about 60 percent year on year.A report issued by the China Tourism Academy (CTA) indicated that Hubei Province led the country in tourism recovery during the festival, partly due to the popularity of the Shennongjia Forestry District, a popular skiing destination, and other ice and snow tourism destinations in the province.A woman skies outside a shopping mall in Shanghai. (Photo courtesy of the interviewee)Cities in southern China such as Guangzhou became popular ice and snow destinations during the holiday, according to Mafengwo, a travel service and social networking platform.Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, many people tend to take part in winter sports and related recreational activities in places close to their homes, especially for those in southern China, industry insiders said.In a shopping mall in Shanghai, a skating rink received over 1,000 customers per day around the Spring Festival holiday amid strict pandemic prevention measures, up 36 percent year on year. In addition, the sales volume of the rink during the holiday soared 40 p...

Fun facts: Athletes who are also siblings at Beijing 2022

Chinese people like to say “Benjia” to refer to people who have the same family name as they do, even though they may not be related. At the ongoing 2022 Beijing Olympic Winter Games, there are some international and Chinese athletes who are also siblings. Let’s check out who they are.Danish curling athletes Denise Dupont and Madeleine Dupont are sisters, born in 1984 and 1987, respectively. Their father, Kim Dupont, has taken part in two World Junior Curling Championships; their mother, Gitte Larsen, won a bronze medal at the 1990 World Women's Curling Championship, and their brother, Oliver Dupont, who is also a curling athlete, won a silver at the 2016 World Men’s Curling Championship.Barnabas Szollos of Israel competes during alpine skiing men's alpine combined at the National Alpine Skiing Centre in Yanqing District, Beijing, capital of China, Feb. 10, 2022. (Xinhua/Chen Yichen)Israeli alpine skier Barnabas Szollos and his sister Noa Szollos are the only athletes in this field from Israel at Beijing 2022. Barnabas was born in 1998 and Noa in 2003. While men and women compete separately, whoever places higher will certainly take home bragging rights. Their older brother, Benjamin, narrowly missed out on qualifying for Beijing 2022. Barnabas and Noa are coached by their father, Peter Szollos.British short track speed skating athlete brothers Farrell and Niall Treacy will both compete in the fast and furious 1,000m race at the Winter Olympics.Norwegian cross-country skiers Lotta Udnes Weng and Tiril Udnes Weng, who are twin sisters born in 1996, will compete with their elder female cousin Heidi Weng, born in 1991, at Beijing 2022.Other siblings who will compete with each other at Beijing 2022 are: Canadian biathlon athlete brothers Scott Gow and Christian Gow, born in 1990 and 1993, respectively; Italian alpine skier sisters Nicol Delago and Nadia Delago, born in 1996 and 1997; Japanese snowboarding athlete sisters Tomita Sena and Tomita Ruki, born in 1999 and 200...

Winter Olympics trivia: Why are dental clinics being located at ice hockey venues for Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games?

Ice hockey is one of the most ferocious competitions to be held during the Winter Olympics. Players must wear protective gear during the game, and face a high risk of suffering a mouth, tooth or jaw injury, because the ice hockey puck, which is made of solid vulcanized rubber, has a maximum speed of over 180km/h, and players may move at a speed over 50 km/h. Among the 12 competition venues for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games, only the ice hockey venues have dental clinics.According to the Rule Book for the 2021/2022 season of the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF), women and players in the under 18 age category must wear a cage facial covering to protect themselves, while men who play in adult categories have three helmet choices.Players who prefer to have a better range of vision will always choose to wear a visor, which covers the top half of a player's face but leaves the jaw and teeth exposed. That's why dental clinics are needed at the venues for the ice hockey games.At the Wukesong Sports Center, one of the venues for ice hockey competitions during the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games, a dental clinic with a special design is only 35 meters away from the ice hockey rink, serving as one of the medical supporting facilities for the Games.

Highlights of women's snowboard cross 1/4 finals of Beijing 2022

Gold medallist Lindsey Jacobellis (front) of the United States competes during women's snowboard cross 1/4 finals of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics at Genting Snow Park in Zhangjiakou, north China's Hebei Province, Feb. 9, 2022.Gold medallist Lindsey Jacobellis of the United States competes during women's snowboard cross finals of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics at Genting Snow Park in Zhangjiakou, north China's Hebei Province, Feb. 9, 2022. (Xinhua/Xiao Yijiu)Gold medallist Lindsey Jacobellis (L) of the United States competes during women's snowboard cross finals of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics at Genting Snow Park in Zhangjiakou, north China's Hebei Province, Feb. 9, 2022. (Xinhua/Xiao Yijiu)Meryeta Odine (R) of Canada competes during women's snowboard cross 1/4 finals of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics at Genting Snow Park in Zhangjiakou, north China's Hebei Province, Feb. 9, 2022. (Xinhua/Wang Haofei)

Pole Kwiatkowski "feels magic" at Winter Olympics in Beijing

WARSAW, Feb. 9 (Xinhua) -- Polish snowboarder Oskar Kwiatkowski said the Beijing Winter Olympics are really special for him as he can feel the Olympic magic for the first time.In an exclusive online interview with Xinhua, the 25-year-old said he felt like he was in paradise on the slopes.It's frosty weather. The snow is very grippy. It's easy to ride. You don't have to think that your snowboard will suddenly fall off, but you can get the most out of the conditions, he said.Kwiatkowski, who finished seventh in parallel giant slalom on Tuesday, was also impressed by the organization of the Games.Everything is perfectly organized. The objects are impressive. It's not just about our route, but about everything we see around. Snowboard cross, ski-cross, slope style and so on. The Chinese approached the organization of the event very professionally, the athlete added.It's my second Olympic Games here but the first time I can feel the magic of the Winter Games. Four years ago I didn't have a chance to feel that, he said, explaining that he could not live in the Olympic Village in PyeongChang.I'd been to China twice. There is a good climate for Europeans at the Games. During previous visits, I felt that I was in a different culture and a distant country. At the Winter Olympics everything is organized so that athletes from all over the world would feel their best, Kwiatkowski noted.On the safety rules during his time in Beijing amid the COVID-19 pandemic, he said he stays calm.Of course I wear a mask and I remember about different rules. I don't want to put other athletes at risk. I don't regret that we can't leave our zone. Someday I will go to China as a tourist but now I'm focused on sports goals, he said.

Highlights of ice hockey Men's Preliminary round group B match

Athletes of ROC collide with athletes of Switzerland during the ice hockey Men's Preliminary round group B match between ROC and Switzerland at National Indoor Stadium in Beijing, capital of China, Feb. 9, 2022. (Xinhua/Li An)Athletes of ROC celebrate scoring during the ice hockey Men's Preliminary round group B match between ROC and Switzerland at National Indoor Stadium in Beijing, capital of China, Feb. 9, 2022. (Xinhua/Li An)Athletes of ROC celebrate scoring during the ice hockey Men's Preliminary round group B match between ROC and Switzerland at National Indoor Stadium in Beijing, capital of China, Feb. 9, 2022. (Xinhua/Li An)Athletes of ROC collide with athletes of Switzerland during the ice hockey Men's Preliminary round group B match between ROC and Switzerland at National Indoor Stadium in Beijing, capital of China, Feb. 9, 2022. (Xinhua/Li An)Athletes of ROC collide with athletes of Switzerland during the ice hockey Men's Preliminary round group B match between ROC and Switzerland at National Indoor Stadium in Beijing, capital of China, Feb. 9, 2022. (Xinhua/Li An)

Germany tops medal tally with Nordic combined, luge golds

Vinzenz Geiger of Germany celebrates after Nordic combined individual Gundersen normal hill/10km, cross-country at the National Cross-Country Skiing Center in Zhangjiakou, north China's Hebei Province on Feb. 9, 2022. (Xinhua/Zhu Zheng)Germany leads the Beijing Winter Olympics medal table with five gold medals.BEIJING, Feb. 9 (Xinhua) -- Germany jumped into the top spot of the medal table after claiming two gold medals on Wednesday through Vinzenz Geiger in Nordic combined and Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt in the luge doubles at the Beijing Winter Olympics.Geiger, gold medalist of the men's team at PyeongChang 2018, recovered a backlog of one minute and 26 seconds from ski jumping to claim the title with a time of 25:07.7.It's unreal, I don't know how I managed it. I tried to push hard and I had really, really fast skis. My service guys did the perfect job, said Geiger. I didn't imagine a medal. A gold medal is crazy.Joergen Graabak of Norway finished second, 0.8 seconds behind Geiger, followed by Austria's Lukas Greiderer, 6.6 seconds adrift of the leader.Zhao Jiawen, who lit the cauldron at the opening ceremony with Dinigeer Yilamujiang, became China's first Nordic combined athlete to feature at the Winter Olympics and finished 43rd.Zhao Jiawen of China competes during Nordic Combined Individual Gundersen Normal Hill/10km, Cross-Country at the National Cross-Country Skiing Center in Zhangjiakou, north China's Hebei Province on Feb. 9, 2022. (Xinhua/Feng Kaihua)Wendl and Arlt clocked a winning combined time of 1:56.554 from two runs, 0.099 seconds ahead of teammates Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken. Austrians Thomas Steu and Lorenz Koller came third in 1:57.065.In Big Air Shougang, Birk Ruud bagged the inaugural men's freeski big air gold with two impressive runs, winning Norway's fourth gold at the Games.Ruud, who topped the qualification, opened his stunning performance in the final with a switch left 1980 mute, which earned him 95.75 points. Already securing a...

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