Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics: The Path of Innovation in China

With China’s vision of “sustainability for the future” and the principle of hosting “green, inclusive, open and clean” Olympics, the host country, China has integrated sustainability principles across the board. In a bid to achieve the vision set forth China has made strides to research tasks to ensure net zero-carbon emission. China has also invested heavily in 5G and VR technology to give the viewer’s everywhere a more immersive experience.


In a bid to make the Beijing Olympic Winter Games a high-tech one, China has made strides to research tasks on zero-emission energy supply, green travel, 5G sharing, smart game-watching, sports technology, clean environment, and safe games have been carried out.

The aim is to provide critical technical support for running, participating, and watching the Winter Games, and address the major needs of Winter Olympic projects and key application scenarios, thus helping present a streamlined, safe, and splendid Games to the world. From infrastructure to big data and VR China aims to revolutionize the broadcast and real-time experience of the sport, and in that effort has introduced numerous new features.

Hydrogen-fueled handheld torch for the Winter Olympics – Zero carbon emission & high stability

Using hydrogen as the fuel, the handheld torch produces zero carbon emissions. This Olympic handheld torch has adopted the high-pressure hydrogen storage solution. Its combustion system has solved the problems of visibility of hydrogen flames, adaptability of complex curved surfaces, large-scale decompression, and safe utilization of hydrogen, which makes it more adaptable to the environment.

Olympics innovation in China
Hydrogen-fueled handheld torch for the Winter Olympics

It has been tested and proven to burn stably and reliably in harsh environments such as strong winds, heavy rain, low temperatures, and high altitude. The Winter Olympic torch relay will help spread the concept of hydrogen utilization far and wide.

Read more: Winter Olympics and the New Great Game

100 percent green electricity supply

The preparations for the Beijing Winter Olympic Games, which are closely integrated with the development of the city and the region, have helped improve the region’s ecological environment and boost socio-economic development. During the Beijing Olympic Winter Games, all the 26 venues in the three major competition zones will be fully powered by “green electricity,” which means 100 percent green electricity for all competition venues for the first time in Olympic history.

100 percent clean energy electricity supply for the first time

Renewable Energy Flexible DC Grid in Zhangbei County

As a key supporting project for the Beijing Olympics Winter Games, the Renewable Energy Flexible DC Grid Demonstration Project in Zhangbei County is able to convert Zhangjiakou’s fluctuating wind power, photovoltaic, and other clean energies into stable electricity and transmit it to Beijing, helping achieve 100 percent clean energy electricity supply of all competition venues in Beijing for the first time in the history of the Olympics.

Low-carbon transportation system

During the Beijing Olympic Winter Games 2022, 100 percent domestically-made hydrogen fuel cell buses will have access to hydrogen refueling services at the five “100 percent Green Hydrogen” hydrogen refueling stations, which is expected to save 0.28 liters of oil per kilometer for each vehicle, adding up to a total of about 9.6 tons. As a result, each vehicle emits 0.75 kilograms less carbon per kilometer, reducing carbon emission by a total of about 30 tons.

Energy-efficient and clean energy vehicles almost make up the entire minibus fleet and account for more than 80 percent of all vehicles, making a fully carbon-neutral Beijing Olympic Winter Games. “Snow Dream” passenger service for the Winter Olympics on bullet trains along the high-speed railway linking Beijing and Zhangjiakou “Snow Dream” passenger service on the Beijing-Zhangjiakou high-speed trains: English and Chinese interpretation service is provided in the cabin. Through the interpretation service of the tour guide on the train, the passengers can better experience the Chinese technologies, Chinese speed, and Chinese services.

Olympics innovation in China
Hydrogen fuel cell buses will be used at the Beijing Olympic Winter Games

The trains on the Winter Olympic special line have specially prepared sleeping cushions and sleeping beds for children so that infants and babies can enjoy a more comfortable and smooth ride.

Read more: Pakistani skier confident to win hearts in Beijing Winter Olympics

Moreover, to help passengers find their luggage, the Beijing-Zhangjiakou high-speed trains are also equipped with an anti-loss device. Passengers can connect their mobile phones with the device via Bluetooth and keep track of the location of their luggage, which makes them feel more reassured and helps avoid taking the wrong luggage.

Innovation of 5G-enabled, intelligent vehicle networking system

The 5G-enabled, intelligent vehicle networking system is in full application in Winter Olympic Parks. With the innovation of 5G + C-V2X fusion networking, network transmission delay is reduced to less than 10 milliseconds. Multi-source fusion and high-precision positioning based on 5G + BeiDou can satisfy the demand for continuous indoor and outdoor high-precision vehicle positioning at the 0.1-meter level.

The L4 autonomous driving technology based on road-side all-area perception overcomes the limitations of narrow sight range and high cost caused by the dependence on the vehicle body, which will accelerate the development of the automotive industry and give rise to new business models.

Reliable 5G communication network in complex and extreme environments

The new 5G base station adapted to high altitude, high wind speeds, high coldness, and other harsh natural conditions has been providing stable live services for a year at an altitude of over 5,000 meters in Mount Qomolangma (Mount Everest), achieving 5G communication under extreme natural conditions. The 200 megahertz large-bandwidth outdoor base station and the 300 megahertz ultra-large-bandwidth indoor base station equipment are able to meet the demands for large-bandwidth and high-capacity services during the Winter Olympics. They have been thoroughly checked in the test tournament and are able to provide safe, stable, and reliable services for a long time, offering a potential solution for the construction of 5G networks in subsequent extreme scenarios.

Interactive, multi-dimensional game-watching experience technologies and systems

Considering the special features of the ice and snow sports, a homegrown 8K + VR live streaming system, and 6DoF VR technology will be used in the demonstrative broadcasting of the Winter Olympics events. The viewers can watch VR live broadcasting through their cell phones, VR headsets, and TV screens, overcoming the limitations of fixed perspective and passive viewing in traditional broadcasting and revolutionizing the user viewing experience.

The project has given a boost to the development of ultra-high-definition VR content and the industry of VR display equipment and promoted the application of 5G technology. It will bring in more people to watch the games, add a new technological element to the Winter Olympics, and inject new impetus to the Winter Olympics economy. Ultra HD 8K digital broadcasting technology and system The innovative 5G + 8K portable transmission system, which combines the 5G + 8K ultra HD transmission system with the ultra-high bandwidth of the 5G network, provides an 8K ultra HD video broadcast-quality coding transmission.

Through the built-in 5G module multi-channel bandwidth intelligent data allocation, multi-channel data aggregation, and other technologies, the system ensures 8K ultra HD video transmission in the 5G network with high stability, reliability, and high quality in a single-cameraman backpack scenario. Professional and accurate AI sign language interpretation AI sign language anchors can not only report the news but also conduct live sign language broadcasts of the events. This will be good news for hearing-impaired persons, as they can also enjoy the exciting events of the Winter Olympics. The AI anchor is a sign language translation engine and natural motion engine driven by voice recognition and natural speech comprehension technologies, with the ability to express in sign languages. With professional and accurate sign language commentary, “she” will present the “speed” and “passion” of the Winter Olympics to the audience.

Athlete technical movement acquisition – feedback – optimized application demonstration

BeiDou-enabled digital snowfield feedback system

The biomechanical fast feedback system for ski jumping. Setting up multiple high-speed, high-definition cameras to collect 3D motion data and using artificial intelligence-based image recognition technology to automatically identify the location of each joint point of the athlete and calculate the jumping stirrup distance, jumping joint angle, jumping vertical speed, and other vital indicators to realize 3D motion capture and analysis. BeiDou-enabled digital snowfield feedback system. Using the BeiDou navigation system, more real-time feedback on the height of the jump, take-off speed, angle of a jump, position movement, data comparison, and other information will be available.

Building low-carbon venues

Building low carbon venues. All venues have reached the green building standards; a new type of carbon dioxide refrigerant has been used in the four ice arenas, and more than 50,000 square meters of ultra-low energy demonstration projects have been completed. Six venues of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games have been used in the Beijing Winter Olympics. Inspired by the past experience of post-competition use, plans have been made for post-competition use for all new venues. Full consideration has been given to the venues’ future use in the planning and design stage, which has effectively brought down costs.

Advanced equipment ready for use in highway geological disasters

Portable high-throughput satellite stations, unmanned aerial vehicles, radar engineering reconnaissance vehicles, all-terrain vehicles, mechanized bridges, and other advanced communication security equipment and emergency rescue equipment, combined with digital and IT tools, provide the command site with all kinds of information on the disaster scene. This would aid the decision-makers to quickly “remove the risks on the highway, coordinate the rescue efforts, clean up the debris from both directions, and prioritize traffic resumption.”

Collection of aerosol samples

Olympics innovation in China
Testing of aerosol samples at the epidemic control department for Beijing Olympic Winter Games

During the Winter Olympics, aerosol samples will be collected at each competition venue and then transferred to the testing station for evaluation. The results will be reported to the epidemic control departments within 4 hours to assist them in taking further measures based on the results. High technologies have not only played a unique role in the preparations of the Beijing Winter Olympics but will also serve people’s needs for a better life in the future. After the Beijing Winter Olympics, science and technology will continue to be an indispensable and important force in helping the general public have access to more diverse sports and enjoy the benefits of the Winter Olympics through the broader application of research outcomes.

Read more: Together for the Winter Olympics and Future

Towards a shared future

High technologies have not only played a unique role in the preparations of the Beijing Winter Olympics but will also serve people’s needs for a better life in the future. After the Beijing Winter Olympics, science and technology will continue to be an indispensable and important force in helping the general public have access to more diverse sports and enjoy the benefits of the Winter Olympics through the wider application of research outcomes.

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