As the only snow sports venue for the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games located in downtown Beijing, Big Air Shougang has witnessed four gold medals won by athletes during the Games, including one bagged by China’s Gu Ailing and another by Su Yiming.
Other than the spectacular competitions caught on camera one can also appreciate the many efforts taken by the venue’s support personnel behind the scenes.
① Staff members clean ski tracks at the Genting Snow Park in the Zhangjiakou competition zone of Beijing 2022 on Feb. 17, 2022. (People’s Daily/Jiang Yushi)
② Photo shows medical workers at National Ski Jumping Center ready to provide medical assistance for athletes, on Feb. 17, 2022. (People’s Daily/Yi Xiao)
③ Children experience balance bikes at an international ski resort in northeast China's Jilin Province. (Photo/Xinhua)
There have been more than 1,100 support staff members working inside the venue, including employees of Shougang Group, staff members of the government of Beijing’s Shijingshan district, where the venue is located, and volunteers, explained Song Shiyuan, the director of Big Air Shougang, who added that it is the concerted efforts taken by these people that has guaranteed smooth runs during the competitions.
On Feb. 15, China’s teenage snowboard sensation Su won the men’s big air at Big Air Shougang. The 164-meter-long track, along which the athletes compete, demonstrates the wisdom and painstaking efforts taken by the snow-making team at the venue.
“We worked day and night for dozens of days to prepare the snow in the hope of hosting excellent competitions during the Games,” said Han Dong, a manager of the operation team at Big Air Shougang.
During the days when they were preparing snow, Han kept looking at the temperature sensor to wait for the best temperature conditions to show up before kickstarting the snowmaking.
“When the temperature dropped to minus 2 degrees Celsius or below, we immediately started the machine for snowmaking,” said Han. They also adjusted the machine in a timely manner to ensure that the snow would meet the requirements set for hosting the Winter Olympic competitions.
“The thickness of the snow in the starting area is 0.5 meters, while the thickness of the snow in the take-off area and the landing area ranges between 0.5 meters and 4 meters,” Han said, adding that while producing the snow, they also needed to guarantee that the amount of snow placed in each area and the angle of the slopes were prepared as required.
In January, 389 volunteers officially started their work at Big Air Shougang, providing services in 25 areas focusing on sporting services, technological support, preparatory work related to holding ceremonies, media work and venue management, among other services.
The volunteers consisted of students from nine universities and colleges in Beijing, and medical workers and staff members from Beijing Tiantan Hospital under the Capital Medical University, the Beijing 999 Emergency Center, and Shougang Group.
“We organized four phases of training for the volunteers, which were held both online and offline,” said Ma Xiaoning, volunteer manager at Big Air Shougang.