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Shared media center ready for winter Games

Sun Xiaochen
Updated: Jul 06,2021 07:10    China Daily

Beijing's promise to host a streamlined Winter Olympics next year has materialized in a big way with the completion of a shared media center integrating operations for the press and broadcasters.

With less than eight months until the 2022 Winter Olympics open in Beijing, the Games' organizing committee on July 4 delivered the international broadcast center project, part of the newly built main media center, to Olympic Broadcasting Services, marking a key milestone in the Chinese capital's preparations for the winter sports extravaganza.

Built in northern Beijing's Olympic Park, the Beijing 2022 media center, which was completed last month, will combine functional areas for the international broadcast center and the main press center under one roof for the first time in Olympic history as part of Chinese organizers' efforts to reduce construction costs while optimizing Gamestime operations.

At previous editions of the Games, journalists and photographers used to work at an independent venue separated from the broadcast center, with two sets of power supplies, transportation and logistic services.

Beijing 2022's plan to use shared work space, services and technological support echoed the International Olympic Committee's call to cut operational costs for future hosts, highlighted in the Olympic Agenda 2020 and New Norm reform proposals.

"Using the integrated main media center instead of two separate buildings will help cut costs, save space and improve efficiency," Xu Zhijun, the Beijing 2022 organizing committee's deputy secretary-general, said during Sunday's handover ceremony.

"Following the central government's guiding principles of hosting 'streamlined, safe and splendid' Games, we will spare no effort in the final delivery."

The main media center, which features a total operational area of 211,000 square meters, is expected to accommodate 3,000 registered journalists and photographers and 12,000 broadcasting staff during the Games, with the shared project having saved space of about 28,000 sq m compared to the traditional two-building plan, according to organizers.

With the center delivered on time for internal decoration and equipment testing, OBS, an IOC-founded company providing the Games' broadcasting service, hailed the project as an impressive example of sustainability and efficiency.

"This brand-new construction of exceptional quality and design will become the technological hub that will bring the Games to billions of viewers around the globe and will connect Beijing and China with the world," OBS's CEO Yiannis Exarchos said during an online speech on July 4.

"By using a common facility, we will benefit from all the efficiencies of sharing services, access, et cetera, that otherwise would have been duplicated.

"The handover of this innovative, sustainable and very beautiful facility officially marks the beginning of our operations in the host city and we couldn't be more excited to enjoy top-level collaboration with such a competent and knowledgeable organizing committee."

Owned by Beijing North Star Industrial Group, the main media center is within walking distance of the National Stadium, National Aquatics Center and the National Indoor Stadium, three 2008 Summer Games venues that have been renovated to host ceremonies and ice sports competitions during the 2022 Winter Olympics.

The main media center was developed as part of the Phase 2 project of the China National Convention Center in a plan that also features hotels, office buildings and shopping areas that will form an exhibition and convention complex of more than 1.3 million square meters once it is completed in 2023.