Legacy plans outlined for Beijing’s National Aquatic Centre

Beijing’s National Aquatic Centre is set to become an important legacy component for the recently concluded Winter Olympic Games through the establishment of a World Curling Academy training centre at the facility.

World Curling has signed a letter of intent with the Chinese Curling Association and the Beijing State-owned Assets Management Co, which owns the National Aquatic Centre (also known as the Ice Cube), to pursue an educational and development relationship for the sport in China.

The agreement will also result in the training and development of educators using the World Curling Academy courses and materials in order to further develop the sport throughout China.

Kate Caithness, president of the World Curling Federation, said: “I am delighted to sign this letter of intent which confirms the commitment to the curling legacy of the Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

“We have witnessed our sport played at the highest level in an iconic location and know that this is just a step on the journey in the growth of our sport here in China.

“Beijing State-owned Assets Management have shown their commitment to curling with their new permanent curling facility which will allow many more Chinese people to experience, learn and enjoy the sport of curling. China has the potential to be one of the biggest curling nations in the world and the coaches and officials who will be trained at this centre will help build and promote the foundations of that growth.”

Meanwhile, another Beijing 2022 venue, the Yanqing Sliding Center, is set to continue hosting major events after the International Bobsleigh & Skeleton Federation (IBSF) signed a Memorandum of Understanding with representatives of the Chinese Bobsleigh and Skeleton Association, the Yanqing District, the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Sports and the Beijing Enterprises J.O Construction Co.

Over the next five years, the IBSF will stage World Cup races, Asian Cup races and training camps at the venue in cooperation with the signing parties.

IBSF president Ivo Ferriani said: “During the past six years we have worked very closely with the various stakeholders to prepare not just the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 but also the past-Games use.

“Our shared vision was to leave a strong legacy for this outstanding facility which will serve for top-elite level sports and at the same time for touristic purposes. With today’s MoU we accomplished the vision which will now come into action.”

Image: Morio/CC BY-SA 4.0/Edited for size