By He Yin
The high-profile Beijing Winter Olympics has become a window into China’s scientific and technological innovations.
In Olympic Villages for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games, smart facilities have created a comfortable and convenient living environment for Olympic athletes and personnel; at the opening ceremony of the Games, a super large 8K ultra-high-definition ground display system presented breathtaking visual effects; the National Speed Skating Oval, a venue for the Games that has been hailed as the “fastest ice”, has enabled athletes to indulge their passion for speed; and the accurate weather forecast system featuring a 10-minute follow-up cycle and a 100-meter resolution has guaranteed the smooth running of competitions in the mountains of the Yanqing competition zone.
The Beijing Winter Olympics has deeply impressed the international community with various sci-tech innovations and futuristic scenarios.
Technology has amazing potential, which has been truly tapped by the Beijing Winter Olympics for the first time in the Olympic history, said Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
The applications of sci-tech innovations at the Winter Olympics mirror China’s remarkable achievements in innovation and development.
China attaches great importance to sci-tech innovation and has considered innovation the primary driving force for development.
Since 2012, China has made historic achievements and transformations in science and technology. The country has seen major innovations emerge in large numbers and is now leading or co-leading the world in some frontier areas. Its technological strength is undergoing a transition from quantity accumulation to quality leap, and from breakthroughs in certain fields to improvement of systematic capabilities.
China’s vision of presenting to the world a fantastic, extraordinary and excellent Olympic Winter Games couldn’t have been achieved without strong technological strength.
Back in 2019, when inspecting the preparations for the Beijing Winter Olympics, Chinese President Xi Jinping stressed that venue construction must meet Olympic standards and highlight the characteristics of technology, wisdom, environment and frugality, with technology in the first place.
The sci-tech innovations ingeniously integrate into the Winter Olympics also demonstrate a contemporary spirit in China based on reform and innovation.
The splendid opening ceremony, a visual feast to a global audience, couldn’t have been so magnificent without the super large 8K ultra-high-definition ground display system and modern technologies in such fields as artificial intelligence-based real-time motion capture and naked-eye 3D display.
The high-quality ice surfaces in the National Speed Skating Oval are attributed to a carbon dioxide transcritical direct-cooling ice machine system independently developed by China. The liquid carbon dioxide flowing in stainless steel tubes that stretch over 120 kilometers under the ice surfaces of the venue ensure that the variation in the temperature of the ice surfaces does not exceed 0.5 degrees Celsius.
For the first time in the Olympic history, the Beijing Winter Olympics has achieved 100 percent green electricity supply for all venues, thanks to the renewable energy flexible direct current (DC) power grid demonstration project in Zhangbei county, north China’s Hebei province, which has created 12 “world firsts”.
The technologies that have added glamour to Beijing 2022 will also inject impetus into the sustainable development of China and the rest of the world as efforts are made to further promote their application.
The technology-empowered Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics is the epitome of how innovations propel human progress. The suits for Chinese speed skaters have went through over 500 hours of wind tunnel tests and can effectively reduce wind resistance; and the spiked shoes of Chinese skeleton racers feature bionic fluid mechanic design and curved carbon plate on the sole made of high-tech materials, which can help athletes better get off the mark and slide in competitions.
Such examples have all proven that technological advances have raised the possibilities of “faster, higher and stronger” for athletes.
As global economic recovery is faced with severe challenges due to profound and fast-evolving changes unseen in a century and the far-reaching impact made by the COVID-19 pandemic on the world, it’s more imperative than ever that countries around the world intensify open cooperation in science and technology and work together to explore ways and means of jointly solving important global issues through sci-tech innovation, tackle the challenges of the times and advance humanity’s lofty cause of peace and development.
The successful hosting of Beijing 2022 shows that by strengthening sci-tech innovation and sticking to openness and cooperation, humankind will be able to achieve the goal of “faster, higher and stronger” in the face of challenges of the times and jointly create a brighter future.