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Water Cube to be frozen into Ice Cube for Beijing 2022 Winter Games

Xinhua | Updated: 2018-12-27 16:27
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An artist's illustration shows what the National Aquatics Center will look like after renovations for the 2022 Winter Games, when it will host the curling competition. [China Daily]

JINAN - The iconic Water Cube that was used in the Beijing Summer Olympics has undergone a dramatic transformation to the Ice Cube, and is set to host the curling events for the Beijing 2022 Winter Games, according to the Beijing Office for Major Projects.

The Water Cube, or the National Aquatics Center, along with the Bird's Nest, are the two most symbolic legacies of the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics. The Water Cube housed the swimming and diving events.

When the transformation is complete, the Aquatics center will feature a transferable rink for curling events in 2022. There will also be another ice rink to the south of the Water Cube for the public on a regular basis. The transition will be finished by July 2020 before the 2022 Olympic test events.

"According to our plan, the Water Cube will be upgraded into a curling rink while keeping the swimming pool. A new ice-making system will be in place to provide four Olympic-standard curling rinks," said Yang Qiyong, general manager of the National Aquatics Center.

The new Ice Cube will get a technological upgrade as well, with a system monitoring the interior temperature, humidity, and lighting.

Beijing, which hosted the Summer Games in 2008, will become the first city ever to host both the Summer and Winter Olympics. Many venues in 2008 Summer Games are now being renovated to become suitable for winter sports ahead of the 2022 Games. The Water Cube/Ice Cube will stand as a permanent legacy of how a sustainable Olympics can be put on.

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