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Beijing to build National Speed Skating Gymnasium in 2016

By ECNS 23 Jan 2015

Beijing plans to build a National Speed Skating Gymnasium in 2016 to host the 2022 Olympic Winter Games' snow events, according to Li Yingchuan, director of the Beijing Municipal Sports Bureau.

The new snow-sports facility, which will take more than a year to complete, will be built in the temporary venue of the 2008 Olympic Games, on the west side of the Olympic Green and south of the Olympic Green Tennis Center.

The 12,000-seat gymnasium will house several 400-meter skating trails and be a professional host facility for the 2022 Olympic Winter Games' skiing sports, if Beijing is successful in its bid, says Li.

Beijing has chosen the Bird's Nest, the National Olympic Stadium, to hold the opening and closing ceremonies of the Winter Olympic Games and Paralympic Games.

However, there is no proper facility for speed skating, although figure skating and short-track speed skating will be held in the Capital Gymnasium and curling in the Water Cube, Li says.

The gymnasium will be open to the public and motivate millions of people in the Beijing region to practice winter sports. "There would be excellent facilities," Li told journalists.

Whether Beijing can secure the bid successfully, the National Speed Skating Gymnasium will be built as planned in 2016, says Li. "We just see the Winter Olympic Games as an opportunity to accelerate the program."

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