With 100 days to go before the opening of the 2022 Paralympic Winter Games, Beijing has entered the final phase of its three-year preparation for a barrier-free sporting event, having completed the renovation of 9,791 public facilities in areas located within a one-kilometer radius of the competition venues and living areas for the Games.
Photo taken on Dec. 8, 2019 shows spectators watching the 2019 China Junior Curling Open girls' final match at the National Aquatics Center (the Water Cube) in Beijing, capital of China. (Xinhua/Ju Huanzong)
“The construction and renovation of barrier-free facilities were carried out based on basically the same schedule as the construction of the competition venues,” said an official with the Municipal Working Group of the Special Campaign for the Barrier-free Environment Construction in Beijing, who explained that the barrier-free facilities at the eight competition venues and two Olympic villages for the Beijing 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games are all nearing completion, with barrier-free facilities such as elevators, bathrooms, guestrooms, dressing rooms, slopes and seats having all met the requirements for supporting the Games.
The World Wheelchair Curling Championship 2021, which was held last month at the National Aquatics Center (Water Cube), which has since been converted into the “Ice Cube,” fully tested out the barrier-free facilities and relevant services arranged for disabled athletes.
The barrier-free facilities at the Ice Cube are currently undergoing further innovative upgrades and improvements. Based on the feedback received from people who tried out the barrier-free facilities during the “Experience Beijing” test events, staff members at the center are currently making improvements to barrier-free signs, especially road signs, in the hope that disabled athletes will be able to easily find their way to the different competition venues with the assistance of barrier-free signs.
Last week, a series of all-factor tests were carried out at the Beijing 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Village, including a test of the barrier-free facilities for disabled athletes. When the Games kick off, a total of nearly 100 vehicles will be used to provide transportation services for the athletes during and after the Games, of which 40 will be providing barrier-free services, with ramp roads and other facilities to be set up to help disabled athletes get in and out of the vehicles.
According to an official with the Municipal Working Group of the Special Campaign for the Barrier-free Environment Construction in Beijing, the city has improved 307,000 barrier-free facilities while building 100 barrier-free demonstration blocks and 100 “15-minute convenient life circles.” It also rolled out 12,000 barrier-free buses, 1,200 barrier-free bus stations and 500 barrier-free taxies. By the end of this year, the city will make sure that 80 percent of the buses operating within the city’s urban area will be able to provide barrier-free facilities to the public.