Xinhua News Agency, Canberra, November 18th, title: First-class stadium facilities, expect to realize Beijing dream
——Interview with the head of the Australian Winter Olympic delegation
Xinhua News Agency reporters Yue Dongxing and Bai Xu
The head of the Australian Winter Olympics delegation, Jeff Lipschute, said in an exclusive interview with Xinhua News Agency reporters recently that from the feedback of Australian players participating in the test competition in Beijing, the facilities at the Winter Olympics venue are top-notch. At the same time, the ice and snow expert who has participated in the seven Winter Olympics said that the difficulty of training and preparation under the new crown epidemic will make athletes particularly cherish the stage of the Winter Olympics. They look forward to achieving their dreams in Beijing with their best performance.
First-class stadium facilities and precious Olympic heritage
Lipschute was a freestyle ski instructor and has participated in the Winter Olympics with the Australian delegation since 1994. He said that currently all Australian players planning to participate in the Winter Olympics are preparing and participating overseas. Their main task is to obtain as many seats as possible during the “Winter Olympic Qualification Window” that will last until late January next year. Since last month, some Australian players have participated in test competitions in Beijing, including snowmobiles and other events. Later this month, snowboarders will also go to Beijing as planned.
After the “qualification window” is closed, the Australian delegation will determine the final Winter Olympics list based on the qualifications of the players. It is estimated that there will be more than 40 players.
According to reports, Australia’s top helmsman Bray Walker, who has participated in the snowmobile race in the Yanqing competition area, reported that the track at the National Snowmobile and Sled Center is “very good”, and there is also a pre-match warm-up area equipped with air-conditioning and other facilities. It was the first time they saw it in a big competition, and the organization of the entire event was also great.
The Australian delegation plans to hold a delegation registration meeting with relevant departments of the Beijing Winter Olympics Organizing Committee on January 23 next year, and then arrange the Olympic Village. The first group of Australian athletes are expected to arrive in Beijing on January 28 and begin training immediately.
The world-class facilities, in Lipschute’s view, will bring a “very healthy” legacy to Chinese winter sports, especially young people. He suggested that we must make good use of these heritages to promote the development of the local ice and snow industry. “I believe these venues can be fully utilized after the Winter Olympics. Zhangjiakou, Yanqing and other competition areas will be very good winter sports areas.”
He believes that under the influence of the epidemic, the Winter Olympics will be the same as the previous Tokyo Olympics. Players will cherish this hard-won stage and will have extra motivation to bring their best performance.
He said that last season, in the absence of vaccine protection, the players still competed all over the world. Although the process was difficult, they all insisted because they wanted to qualify and go to Beijing to participate in the Winter Olympics. “So I think the opportunity to go to Beijing is the most important for every athlete. Because many athletes have only one chance to participate in the Olympics in their careers.”
Seize the “two winters” and look forward to a breakthrough
Australia has won a total of 15 Winter Olympic medals, 5 golds, 5 silvers, and 5 bronzes. Lipschute introduced that the strengths of the Australian delegation are snow sports, such as snowboarding and freestyle skiing. Participating in the Beijing Winter Olympics, their basic goal is three medals, if they play ideally, they are expected to win a gold medal. In addition, some newcomers who won the World Cup are expected to hit medals, which means that the overall performance may exceed expectations.
Although the results of the Winter Olympics are not as impressive as those of the Summer Olympics, according to the head of the delegation, Australia, with a population of only 25 million, has formulated a development strategy of “two winters” and achieved positive results.
He said, the first is the infrastructure and the school system. There are large ski resorts in Canberra and major cities such as Sydney and Melbourne. In winter, some schools that are incorporated into the ice and snow sports system will organize students to participate in snow sports, and organize training and competitions. These major cities also have ice rinks, mainly for speed skating and figure skating and other ice sports. The local clubs and schools are responsible for training and competition.
In the summer here, the northern hemisphere is winter. Lipschute said that at this time, most professional players will go to Europe and North America to live for a while, participate in the World Cup matches there, and use the complete infrastructure there to combine competitions and practice. The competition experience makes up for the country’s lack of facilities such as snowmobile tracks.
In addition, Australia has also built a “snowless track” for freestyle skiing in Brisbane this year. The track is located above the swimming pool. The players quickly descended into the air and then fell into the pool to practice various aerial skills, overcoming the limitation of no snow.
“So our plan is to make good use of the’two winters’ in the northern and southern hemispheres every year. This is critical to the development of ice and snow sports and the cultivation of young people’s interest,” he said.
The time difference between Beijing and Canberra is three hours. Lipschute said that this will inspire the enthusiasm of Australian domestic audiences to watch the Winter Olympics, because the time is equivalent to synchronization, such as the Beijing night game, which is also the evening here. “The winter in China and the summer in Australia will be a stark contrast, which will make television viewers full of interest.”Return to Sohu to see more
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