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Beijing to Hold High-Tech Winter Games

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After Beijing won the bid to host the 2022 Winter Olympics, the city set a target to hold high-tech Winter Games. China’s Ministry of Science and Technology was made the leading party to provide technical support for the Games. In collaboration with relevant parties, it drew up the “Action Plan for Science and Technology at the Winter Olympics,” the results of which were applied in this year’s test events.

During the test events in February and April this year, we applied 133 types of techs in a number of key areas. Since October, another 228 pieces of technologies have been tested and applied in test events, athlete training schedules and prep work for the winter games.

– Wu Yuanbin, Director of the Ministry’s Social Scientific Development Department

For the Games next year, high-tech will mainly be applied for four proposes: support COVID-19 measures, reduce carbon emissions, ensure the safety of the events and create a better viewing experience for the viewers. To achieve these results, a number of new and experimental techs will be used, including 5G and hydrogen vehicles.

The much-anticipated 5G signals will cover all venues, including the roads that connect them. This will provide network connectivity for applications such as ultra-high-definition video and smart services. Eighty hydrogen vehicles were tested in Zhangjiakou. And during the Winter Games, more than 700 hydrogen buses will be deployed in Yanqing and Zhangjiakou to provide transportation.

The target of hosting high-tech Olympics is not just for the convenience of thousands of participants during this event. The organising committee once said they wish to use the Games as an experimental model that could help the world build future smart cities that would benefit residents, industries and the environment.

As Olympic venues undergo testing, impressive high-tech and green innovations are giving a glimpse of what is in store for participants at next year’s winter sports gala. From robots that monitor athletes’ health to wearable thermometers and perfectly chilled ice rinks, the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics are setting a new benchmark for sustainable and intelligent Games.

To reduce the number of operational staff and service volunteers, Artificial Intelligence (AI), robots have taken charge of disinfection, body temperature checks and environment monitoring against aerosol transmission of the novel coronavirus. Since early October, when international trial events for speedskating, figure skating, short-track speedskating and wheelchair curling started, the robots have been deployed at official hotels and sports venues.

To honour its promise of hosting green and eco-friendly Games, Beijing 2022 has chosen to replace Freon with carbon dioxide as a cleaner and more efficient refrigerant at some venues. Carbon dioxide will be used as a refrigerant at four ice sports competitions and training venues, including the newly built National Speed Skating Oval, to reduce energy consumption, waste discharge and carbon emissions.

To cater to the growing audience appetite for a more interactive Games experience, Beijing 2022 organisers and venue operators have tested new broadcasting technologies, such as 8K ultrahigh definition live streaming and 360-degree instant replays, enabled by the 5G network, for large-scale implementation at the Games.

The use of new technologies will enhance the Games experiences for athletes and all other participants. Those innovations can also benefit the promotion of winter sports in China, urban development in the hosting areas and the relevant industries after the Games

At the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, China also utilised technologies to help its athletes improve their performance. As reported by OpenGov Asia, many of the Chinese athletes are benefiting from technological assistance from China’s space scientists and engineers. Before setting out for the Tokyo Games, dozens of athletes in the Chinese delegation visited an area in the southwestern suburbs of Beijing that is home to several leading space technology organisations.


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