Technical Team Supports Beijing 2022 Snow Sports Venues
Wang Xing, a 26-year-old Ph.D. student studying snow storage technologies, felt that everything was worth it when he and his team fellows stored 5,000 cubic meters of snow at the Shougang Big Air. The venue hosted freestyle skiing and snowboard big air events in the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games.
He cannot remember exactly how many days he spent working in the minus 20 degrees Celsius weather.
In 2017, Qin Dahe, an academic at the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), set up the "Beijing 2022 snow service team" to provide risk prevention and guarantee plans for snow quality and snow sources on the track under adverse meteorological conditions for the Olympic Games.
Wang, who studies at the Northwest Institute of Eco-environment and Resources under the CAS, joined the team in 2018 to simulate the dynamic changes of snow storage.
Wang noted that Beijing 2022 occurs in a continental monsoon climate zone, prone to extreme weather during the alternating period of winter and spring, with a higher demand for emergency protection of snow quality on the track.
There are few pieces of research on snow storage in China and abroad, Wang said. "We used different materials to cover snow and compared the snow amount and snow quality changes under different materials to determine the best plan to prevent the risk of snow use caused by rising temperatures."
The team not only reserved core technologies but also trained the first graduate students in the snow-related fields, as well as technical staff for ski resorts. These talents will contribute their power to China's ice-snow industry development, said Wang Feiteng, Wang Xing's tutor.
Ji Kaicheng, a graduate student at Shandong Normal University, is a team member.
He experimented with making artificial snow tracks for Alpine skiing events under his tutor Sun Weijun and Ding Minghu, a researcher with the Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences.
Ji and his fellows went to Yabuli, a famous ski resort in China, to do experimental work in November 2020.
They often worked more than ten hours a day when the apparent temperature could reach minus 30 degrees Celsius with fierce winds striking.
"Engaging in the snow service of the Winter Olympics is a great opportunity, and I cherish it very much," said Ji. After one year's practice, Ji mastered the track production process and the evaluation method of qualified tracks. (Xinhua)