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IOC President Bach Praised Shougang’s “Four Ice Blocks” for Their Excellence

Release Time:2019-04-16 16:26:21

At the three-year mark of the countdown to the opening of the 2022 Winter Olympic Games, International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach and his delegation visited Shougang Park recently and praised Shougang’s “four ice blocks” for their excellence.

Gou Zhongwen, Director of the State General Administration of Sports and President of the Chinese Olympic Committee, Gao Zhidan, Deputy Director of the State General Administration of Sports and Vice President of the Chinese Olympic Committee, Ni Huizhong, Director of Winter Sports Management Center and Vice President of the Chinese Olympic Committee, and leaders of Shougang Group including Zhang Gongyan, Liang Zongping, and Liang Jie accompanied them during the visit. In addition to Bach, a large group of people from the IOC visited Shougang Park, including Vice Presidents of the IOC Samaranch and Yu Zaiqing, IOC members Li Lingwei and Zhang Hong, honorary IOC member Timothy Fok, IOC Director General De Kepper, and the heads of the IOC’s main departments.

Bach and his delegation visited the curling hall, figure skating hall, and short track speed skating hall successively to understand the construction of the Winter Olympic training venues, which promotes the overall transformation and development of the park by making overall use of industrial sites and the living environment and training of athletes and coaches.

On the basis of retaining the original buildings, Shougang has built 3 training halls for national teams in curling, figure skating, and short track speed skating through renovation and transformation. The original appearance of the old workshop retains the industrial remains such as pillars, crane beams, and scissors braces. At the same time, the old coal station in the factory area will be transformed into a first-class international ice hockey stadium. These four venues, also known as Shougang’s “four ice blocks”, present an unprecedented style of “ice venues with industrial characteristics.”

As they walked into the curling hall, old photos of the smelting production period in Shougang’s old factory area on the corridor wall aroused Bach’s great interest. Pointing to the photos, he asked questions about the production scene back then, and Zhang Gongyan answered one by one.

In the warm-up area of the curling hall, Zhang Gongyan thanked President Bach for his strong support and help to Shougang and introduced the relevant situation by the planning sand tables of the north area of Shougang Park and the Shougang large ski jumping platform. When he learned that Shougang had transformed the industrial remains into “four ice blocks” and that the national teams have received training there, Bach said, “Very good.” He pointed to the area of three blast furnaces on the sand table and said that he had boarded those three blast furnaces in Shougang Park last time, and they were very high. The unique experience there made him nervous.

Bach was very concerned about the progress of the Shougang Skiing Jumping Project. Before the sand table, Zhang Gongyan briefed Bach on the project’s planning, construction and surrounding environment and facilities. The Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics Shougang Ski Jumping Platform is located in the south of “four ice blocks” and west of Qunming Lake. When completed, it will become the first venue with a large skiing platform that will be reserved and used permanently in the world. It is also the only venue in the central city for the ice events of the Beijing Winter Olympics. Four events of the 2022 Winter Olympics will be held there.

Bach said that the Shougang Skiing Jumping Project has preserved the industrial remains and made people remember the history of the area, which was very good. When he heard the introduction of Qunming Lake, Bach said that he had been to Qunming Lake and was deeply impressed by the long corridor of Qunming Lake with “Comic Picture of Comrade Deng Xiaoping’s Brilliant History.”

In the curling hall, Bach took over the 2018 IOC “Olympism in Action” trophy awarded by Shougang Group and took a group photo with Gou Zhongwen and Zhang Gongyan.

Zhang Gongyan presented Bach with a model of the Shougang skiing jumping platform made from Shougang steel plate.

Bach and his delegation also watched the athletes’ on-site training in the curling hall, figure skating hall, and short track speed skating hall respectively. They gathered around the coaches and athletes, had a cordial conversation, and presented the Olympic commemorative medal to the athletes.

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