Chen Jianxin, a member of the Chinese wheelchair curling team, has been receiving concentrated training with his teammates on the ice for more than three months in a curling center in Harbin, capital of Northeast China’s Heilongjiang Province, with a lot of items being packed in four hours of training every day. However, Chen thinks the training is “not enough.”
Chen and his teammates have been paying close attention to the transformation project in the National Aquatics Center, also known as the Water Cube in Beijing. The wheelchair curling events of the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games will be staged at the venue.
At present, the construction and improvement of the barrier-free facilities in the Water Cube are advanced simultaneously with the transformation of the center.
“We are very confident about the conditions of the curling sheets and the convenience of the venue,” Chen said.
Beijing is going to raise the curtain for the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in less than 500 days.
In an effort to provide the best platform for athletes to show their skills, talents and realize their dreams during the games, Beijing has made continuous efforts to promote the construction of barrier-free environments during the preparations for the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, aiming to further the development of undertakings for people with disabilities.
The Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games will include six major competitive events that involve five competition venues and 27 non-competition venues. The construction projects of barrier-free facilities, however, are not limited to these venues.
Instead, they will cover all the venues for both the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games and 2022 Paralympic Winter Games.
From next March on test events for the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games will be hosted in China. These events will be an overall test of the construction and operation of relevant venues.
It’s very important to guarantee the smooth running of every link down to the last detail, said Xu Hong, director of the coordination and liaison office of the Paralympics department of the Beijing Organizing Committee for the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
“We need to think about all relevant details for the running of barrier-free vehicles ahead of time, and make plans for scenarios such as ensuring that vehicles can pass through areas in the venues on high mountains of Yanqing district smoothly and take athletes safely and comfortably to their destinations,” Xu added.
During the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Paralympic Games held in South Korea, the Beijing Organizing Committee for the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games dispatched a special team to PyeongChang. The team watched and participated in the running of events on site, gathering experience for the organization of and preparations for the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games.
In July, delegates from the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and National Paralympic Committees (NPC) fully affirmed Beijing’s preparations for the 2022 Paralympic Winter Games while attending online activities at the second NPC Open Day Event of the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games.
As the preparations for the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games continue being further advanced, host cities of relevant events are witnessing the construction of barrier-free environments simultaneously.
Last November, Beijing issued an action plan for further promoting the construction of barrier-free environment, focusing on improving the barrier-free environment in four key fields including urban roads, public transport, public services places and information communication.
Zhangjiakou, the co-host city of the Beijing 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, has set detailed targets for ensuring barrier-free access to services in such venues and fields as catering, accommodation, medical treatment, informatization, and sports venues, and has been pushing forward with relevant projects as planned.
“We should advocate building platforms that help disabled people integrate into society, so that they can fully participate in social life, and promote efforts to guarantee equal rights and interests for people with disabilities in fields including sports, culture, education, and employment, thus helping them share the fruits of economic and social development,” noted Yang Jinkui, head of the Paralympics department of the Beijing Organizing Committee for the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
Such platforms and efforts will be the heritage of the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games, Yang said.