BEIJING, Oct. 13 (Xinhua) – Figure skaters from nine countries and regions took to the ice of the Beijing Capital Gymnasium for warm-up sessions on Wednesday, the second round of the Beijing 2022 test series began .
Although the three-day competition of the 2021 Asian Open Figure Skating Trophy officially begins on Thursday, the all-round test for the 53-year-old Capital Gymnasium has already started.
Ding Dong, director of operations of Capital Gymnasium, told media that the gymnasium has not hosted any athletic competition since November 2017, when the ISU Figure Skating Grand Prix in China was held here.
“In a sense, for all Chinese and foreign skaters attending Beijing 2022, this rink is unfamiliar,” Ding said. “The competition this time is up to Olympic standards.”
The Capital Gymnasium will be the venue for figure skating and short track speed skating in Beijing 2022.
“The gymnasium, built in 1968, has witnessed many key moments in Chinese sport. It hosted the Beijing Asiad in 1990 and the Beijing Summer Games in 2008. Winter Olympic competitions, ”said Ding.
In Beijing 2022, the Capital Gymnasium will be one of the most watched sites for fans at home, as China has several world-class athletes in figure skating and short track speed skating.
“The Chinese national figure skating team has sent 17 athletes to compete in the Asian Open, which means the whole team will show up at the Capital Gymnasium,” Ding noted.
A total of 32 figure skaters from China, Japan, South Korea, Finland, Switzerland, Germany, Latvia, as well as Hong Kong and Chinese Taipei have registered for the Asian Open Figure Skating Trophy 2021.
Ding admitted that preventing the pandemic at the Capital Gymnasium complex is the most serious challenge because it is old and close to the city center.
“We’ve done a lot of renovations and added some high-tech stuff. We have an operations team of 2,000 people, one-third of which works in a closed loop,” he said.
“Now the gymnasium opens daily at 5 a.m. and often closes after midnight. All the people here work very hard and we are confident to host a simple, safe and beautiful Winter Olympics,” he said. -he adds.
The Asian Open Figure Skating Trophy 2021 is the second international competition in the Beijing 2022 test series, following the China Open speed skating event which just ended at the National Speed Skating Oval, known as name of “Ribbon of ice”.