Beijing Winter Olympics Restores Ancient Steel Mill

(ATR) A century-old steel mill becomes a symbol of the 2022 Winter Games.




(ATR) A team of IOC inspectors get their first look at the steel mill that could be transformed by the 2022 Olympics.

Some of the renovated buildings are already the home of the Beijing 2022 Organizing Committee. The Shougang Industrial Park is also planned as the site for big air snowboard, housing and other facilities. One of the cooling towers from the mill would be fashioned into the ramp for the big air event.

Members of the IOC Coordination Commission for Beijing 2022 visited the eight-square km site on Chang’an Avenue, about 20km west of Tianamen Square on Tuesday.

The commission, led by Russia IOC member Alexander Zhukov, is making its second annual visit to Beijing since it was selected by the IOC in 2015.

The commission also visited the site for the National Speed Skating Oval, the only new arena needed to be built for 2022. It’s located on the northern edge of the Olympic Green, created for the 2008 Summer Games. The IOC group toured two other venues from those Games that will be in use for 2022 -- Capital Indoor Stadium and Wukesong Arena.

On this trip to Beijing, the commission did not visit the venues for ski and sliding, located about 90 minutes north.

The commission also met with Cao Qi, named last week as President of Beijing 2022. He is a powerful politician, leader of the Beijing Municipal Communist Party. The same lineage of authority produced the leadership of Beijing 2008.

The Shougang steel mill, also known as Capital Steel, opened in 1919 and closed in 2010. The toxins spewing from its furnaces were a source of pollution in the run-up to the 2008 Olympics. Now the site is one of several former industrial locations in Beijing targeted for redevelopment. It will be one of the biggest environmental remediation projects in the world.

"The formal entry of the Organizing Committee of the 2022 Olympic Winter Games has significantly improved the grade of the Park," says the website forShougang.

"In 2017, the reconstruction of the office area for the Organizing Committee of the 2022 Olympic Winter Games, as well as the training venues for speed skating and ice hockey, will be fully completed, and the construction of the large hill for the 2022 Olympic Winter Games will be commenced. Attributed to this, the Park will be a model of developing Olympic sports in cities, reusing world heritage sites and revitalizing industrial parks," it continues.

For more on the Shougang Industrial Park, check out this May 4 article in the TorontoGlobe and Mail.

The IOC coordination commission includes 14 members. Along with Zhukov, who is also president of the Russian Olympic committee, six others are also IOC members.

-- René Fasel, IOC member in Switzerland, International Ice Hockey Federation president

--Ivo Ferriani, IOC member in Italy, International Bobsleigh Federation president

--Gian-Franco Kasper, IOC member in Switzerland, International Ski Federation president

--Octavian Morariu, IOC member in Romania

--Angela Ruggiero, IOC member in U.S., IOC Athletes Commission chair

--Juan Antonio Samaranch, IOC member in Spain, IOC vice president

--Ching-Kuo Wu, IOC member in Chinese Taipei, International Boxing Federation president

--Kate Caithness, World Curling Federation president

--Dmitry Chernyshenko, Sochi 2014 CEO

--Jae Youl Kim, executive with Samsung

--José Luis Marco, NOC representative, Argentina

--Risto Nieminen, Finnish NOC president

--Nicole Resch, International Biathlon Union secretary general

--Vladimir Smirnov, winter Olympian from Kazakhstan

--Rita Van Driel, winter Paralympic sport expert

Ruggiero and Smirnov did not attend this week’s meeting.

Written by Ed Hula.

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