BEIJING, Nov. 20 (Xinhua) — The National Sliding Center, which will host the bobsleigh, skeleton and luge competitions during Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games, has gone through successful pre-homologation test runs.
Subsequently, delegations from the International Skating Union, the World Curling Federation, the International Ski Federation and the International Biathlon Union also inspected eight Beijing 2022 competition venues of their respective sports.
The pre-homologation test runs at the National Sliding Center were conducted by the Chinese national bobsleigh & skeleton teams as well as international luge athletes.
Apart from watching the runs, experts from the International Bobsleigh & Skeleton Federation (IBSF) and the International Luge Federation (FIL) performed thorough technical inspections and lauded the course facilities, ice quality, control tower, lightning, clocking system, broadcasting system, medical station, venue operation and other relating aspects. The organizers then made adjustments in accordance with advice from the panel and had the improvements acknowledged.
Being the fastest and most dangerous events at the Olympic Winter Games, the bobsleigh, skeleton and luge events must have their tracks homologated before hosting international events, as prescribed by the IBSF and FIL.
After the organizers had rounds of negotiations with local government, constructors, and respective International Federations (IFs), the expert panel, led by IBSF President Ivo Ferriani and the FIL Technical Director Christian Eigentler, visited the site from October 24 to November 1 under strict COVID-19 countermeasures.
“Not only did these measures create a safe environment for everyone involved, they also presented valuable learning opportunities,” wrote the International Olympic Committee official website.
“We have seen an excellent prepared track and were impressed by the smooth and perfect organized event which were held under strict hygiene measurements due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This was definitely the most impressive pre-homologation we have seen,” said Ferriani.
“I want to thank the Beijing 2022 Organizing Committee for the outstanding work they have done so far. Additionally, a huge thank you for the National Chinese athletes and their coaches for conducting the test-runs,” he added.
The tracks were the first in China, the third in Asia and the 17th in the world for the sports.
“I have been at all homologation since the 1980s but this was not just excellent but awesome. The best I have seen!” commented FIL expert Walter Plaikner.
From November 9 to 13, delegations from the International Skating Union, the World Curling Federation, the International Ski Federation and the International Biathlon Union also inspected eight Beijing 2022 competition venues.
The on-site inspection tour, which is indispensable for hosting the Games, came after continuous communication beforehand between Beijing 2022 and IFs online due to COVID-19, which was also the reason representatives of different IFs had the tour at the same time.
The delegations acknowledged Beijing 2022’s efforts to make the visit possible under difficulties and confirmed that the eight venues were up to Olympic standard. They also expressed confidence that the National Speed Skating Oval, the National Alpine Ski Center and the National Ski Jumping Center will be landmarks for the cities.
Nordic Combined Race Director Lasse Ottesen gave high marks for facilities in Beijing: “It was truly impressive to see the jumping hill and cross-country stadium in their finished shape and form. We are currently having productive meetings with the local organizing committee which will benefit us greatly for the test events and Olympic Games to come.”