Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics: From summer to winter Games hosts

Although the logo is new, some venues will be familiar to Beijingers as it transforms from summer city into winter Olympic host.
What does Michael Phelps, the swimming champion, have to do with curling

It may seem simple on the surface, but when you turn water into ice at an Olympic venue, it's a whole different story.

As Beijing prepares for hosting the first ever summer and winter Olympics, the 10-lane pool in which the American won eight gold medals has been converted into a four track curling rink.

Not only is it the Chinese capital who is trading sporting seasons, but also athletes trading their trainers for skates while they chase a dual Olympic dream.

We look at some familiar faces getting ready to take part in the biggest winter sport event. There are still 100 days before action begins on February 4.

From Water Cube to Ice Cube

Beijing will reuse five venues that were used for the summer Games in order to meet its sustainability goals.

The Water Cube, a box-shaped structure covered in transparent honeycomb cushions and lit in blue, was one of the most memorable buildings of 2008. It hosted swimming, diving, and artistic swimming.

The large bubble-wrapped box was renovated with new lighting, ventilation, and facilities to make it a curling venue. After the Games, the venue will transition between aquatics and ice venues.

Swimming is...

The opening and closing ceremonies will be held at the Bird's Nest Stadium, another key venue that was established 13 years ago.

This was the venue for the summer Games. It also hosted the athletics and the ceremonies that included David Beckham's handover to London 2012.

2008 saw the Birds Nest host extravagant closing and opening ceremonies.

Two venues that were used for ice hockey in 2008 are the National Indoor Stadium, which hosted rhythmic gymnastics and trampoline as well as handball, and the Wukesong Sports Centre which was home to the basketball.

The Capital Indoor Stadium is hosting figure and short-track skating. This was also where volleyball was played during the summer Games.

In 2008, the United States won the Olympic basketball gold medal for men at Wukesong Indoor Stadium...

One new venue has been added to the Olympic Park. It is the National Speed Skating Oval, also known as "The Ice Ribbon", which now occupies an area that was previously used for archery and hockey.

The new Big Air Shougang is the only site used in Beijing. It is located on an old steel mill site, away from the Olympic Park. Meanwhile, the snowboard, sliding and skiing events are held at two other hubs, all of which are within an hour's train ride from Beijing.

"I had a week off" - athletes switch from summer to winter games

Vincent de Haitre (right), on the other hand, is looking for a Winter Games appearance six years after his last summer one.

Greg Rutherford, a British long jumper who won gold in London in 2008, is familiar with Beijing 2008. He reached the final of the Bird's Nest in Beijing on his Olympic debut in 2008 and was able to reach the final.

If all goes according to plan, he may be in a Bobsleigh this time around after being named in one the Great Britain bobsleigh teams that will try to qualify for the Games.

Although it is still quite rare, there are plenty of examples of athletes switching between the summer and winter Games. However, no Briton has ever won medals at either.

Montell Douglas, another member of Britain's Bobsleigh Squad, hopes to compete in Beijing once again. She previously raced in Beijing's women's 100m in 2008.

Vincent de Haitre, a Canadian, is making a switch to Beijing, and he plans to compete there in just 180 days.

The 27-year old is already a double Olympian and has competed in speed skating in Pyeongchang 2018, before competing in track cycling in Tokyo. She now has one year less than usual to transition from summer to winter, after the coronavirus outbreak delayed the summer Games by one year.

Although he is the first to try this feat in such a short amount of time, there have been athletes who compete at both the winter and summer Games in the same years up to 1992.

He told BBC Sport that he had one week off after I returned from the Olympics. "When the cyclists were off-season, I was training with them. And when they had their off season, I went to Rio. It has been difficult to keep healthy and motivated.

Sport is inherently painful. Your heart rate goes up so high that you can taste blood. Your legs burn.

It's making a choice to put in effort and hard work every day. You've never had the chance to do nothing.

"I earned the respect of my teammates in both sports by challenging myself with something that very few people have done before and it was done in a timeframe that is unmatched.

"This was definitely the most difficult thing I have ever had to do in my athletic career. At the moment, getting to the Olympics seems like the goal. But once that is over, it's not to be competitive.

From stopping the rain to making snow at venues

Beijing 2022 will see snow machines busy.

Not only indoor venues, but also some athletes have seen their winters transformed.

The obvious problem for Winter Games is snow.

Zhangjiakou, which hosts most of the snowboard and ski events, averages eight inches per year of white stuff. Yanqing, home to alpine and sliding skiing, gets only two inches.

It is obvious that the answer is fake it.

Beijing will not be the only one to use man-made weather to overcome the natural conditions of the Games. The Chinese government had already seeded clouds in 2008 to create a downpour and keep the stadium dry.

This involved shooting rockets laden with silver iodide crystals into the rain clouds above the Beijing suburbs.

It will be snow cannons that fire super-cool water from lakes and reservoirs to create ice crystals and make the slopes.

Beijing is not the only winter Games without snow. Sochi 2014 and Pyeongchang 2018 both used artificial snow, and Vancouver 2010 even had trucks of it brought into the Cypress Mountain venue.

Keep in mind the words of International Olympic Committee during the Chinese bid for the Games. "Due to lack of natural snow, the venue may not look appealing."

Perhaps there is a silver lining to that (snowless cloud) - it could be a quick return to summer sports afterwards.


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