Test events held to examine venues for Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics

Photo shows members of an ice hockey team of teenage boys in Beijing take part in training at the Wukesong Sports Center in Beijing. (Photo/Beijing Ice Hockey Association)

“The venue is equipped with sound facilities. Our team members are very excited about the test match. We feel honored to play a game here,” said Jin Tairi, head coach of an ice hockey team in Beijing, referring to the Wukesong Sports Center in the city, a venue for ice events of the Beijing 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.


Jin made the remarks at an interview conducted via a video conference system after the team finished a game held to test the venue on the afternoon of April 2.


The head coach conducted the remote interview at a 5G network-enabled news conference room, part of the efforts of the Beijing 2022 organizers to ensure prevention and control of the COVID-19.


From April 1 to 10, a series of winter sporting test events were hosted in competition venues of the Beijing 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, including the National Aquatics Center, National Indoor Stadium, National Speed Skating Oval, Capital Indoor Stadium, and Wukesong Sports Center in Beijing, under the “Experience Beijing” ice sports testing program organized by the Beijing Organising Committee for the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (BOCOG).


The test events included games in such sports as ice hockey, short track speed skating, figure skating, curling, and wheelchair curling.


The testing program was carried out to test the facilities of venues, better prepare the operation team for the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games, get a clear picture of the rules for hosting the Olympics, improve working mechanisms, ensure support for the smooth operation of venues provided by local governments of the areas where these venues are located in, and inspect the management system of the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games, according to Yao Hui, head of the venue management department of the BOCOG.


The remote unmanned mixed interviews were comprised of the mixed interview zone for athletes in the venues, cloud broadcast platform, and journalists at the far end of the remote communication system, said Guo Zhen, director of the products and solutions department of a Beijing-based company specializing in cloud broadcasting technology.


By leveraging advantages of 5G network, such as high speed and low latency, as well as video capture devices and display screens, the cloud-based interview system can ensure real-time transmission between athletes and journalists during the interviews, Guo explained.


“The remote news conference room and unmanned mixed interviews were both realized based on the cloud broadcasting system, which represents another innovative model of news gathering and broadcasting in the situation where epidemic prevention and control becomes the norm,” pointed out Chen Shuang, head of the venue operation team of the Wukesong Sports Center.


Today, those large outside broadcast vans that used to be frequently seen around the Wukesong Sports Center are gone. And their job has been replaced by cloud broadcasting platform.


“The cloud broadcasting technology we used in the winter sporting test events symbolizes a revolution and innovation in the traditional way of broadcasting. All the work can now be well handled by a dozen of people,” Guo said.


Traditionally, the broadcasting system and personnel can only create programs at the competition site, while with the cloud-based broadcasting system, whose main resources are deployed on cloud platform, journalists can have direct interactions with people at the competition site from program production center, according to Guo.


The test on science and technology projects for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, including the cloud-based broadcasting system, for various scenarios is also an important task of the “Experience Beijing” ice sports testing program.


The testing program brought a stress test on cloud broadcasting technology and tested the coordination between relevant teams, Guo added.

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