Feature: When Chinese New Year meets Olympic Winter Games
BEIJING, Jan. 31 (Xinhua) -- On the Chinese New Year's Eve, the Winter Olympic signs and fiery red lanterns shone together on the streets of Beijing, giving this important festival even greater significance.
Four days before the opening of the Beijing Winter Olympics, athletes, volunteers and other Games participants stuck to their posts, celebrating the new year while looking forward to the Olympics.
GEARING UP FOR THE GAMES
On the Chinese New Year's Eve, China's figure skating team booked all available training sessions in the Capital Indoor Stadium.
"Our sacrifice is worthwhile. It's not only for our individual dreams, but also for the goals of the whole team. In fact, we all have the same dream," said Chinese skater Jin Boyang.
Although there is still some time before the Beijing Paralympic Winter Games, the Chinese wheelchair curling team, which aims to defend its title, continued to train on the Chinese New Year's Eve.
"We arranged a day off for the whole team, but from the second day of the new year, we will begin to train as usual. In preparation for the Paralympics, we act like this every year. We will strive to win another gold medal at the Beijing Paralympic Winter Games," said Hu Junfu, executive deputy leader of China's wheelchair curling team.
Besides the athletes, the radio security technical team in the Beijing Olympic Village is on 24-hour duty, being responsible for carrying out equipment verification and issuing special labels for radio transmission equipment for the athletes' entourage. They also conduct 24-hour electromagnetic environment monitoring to discover abnormal signals, eliminate potential dangers of interference, and ensure smooth communication of various radio equipment such as intercom, cameras and Wi-Fi in the Village.
"The Winter Olympics is about to start and it is the peak period for delegations to enter the Village. There is constant consultation and new equipment waiting to be verified. Eight members of our team will spend this unusual Chinese New Year's Eve at their posts," said Lyu Bing, head of the technical team.
At 7:50am, Qiu Yiran, a sophomore student at Beijing Foreign Studies University, arrived at the Olympic Village to start a new day of volunteer service. Coming off duty, Qiu returned to his hotel to celebrate the Chinese New Year's Eve with professors and classmates who are also devoting themselves to volunteer work.
"Tonight, we have a series of activities such as writing the character 'Fu' [meaning good fortune in Chinese], guessing puzzles and distributing red envelopes. This is the first time I have not been at home with my parents for the Chinese New Year, but I can celebrate with my friends, which is another form of reunion," Qiu said.
Volunteers also pasted the 'Fu' characters and Spring Festival couplets on the gates of the Mountain Media Center in Zhangjiakou, where they held a small gala to celebrate.
"Being able to celebrate the Spring Festival while serving the Winter Olympics makes me feel like I am with the country," said Hu Xiao, a student from the Communication University of China and a volunteer at Zhangjiakou, adding that this is an unforgettable life experience and the biggest reunion.
In the Yanqing Olympic Village, Beijing 2022 mascots Bing Dwen Dwen and Shuey Rhon Rhon greeted guests at its entrance, and the Chinese knots, small lanterns and other decorations with Chinese elements could be seen in every corner.
The Village provides athletes and officials from various countries and regions with Chinese cuisine such as dumplings, roast ducks and rice rolls. "We want guests from all over the world to fully feel the charm of the Chinese culture by having the Chinese New Year's meals," said Gao Xuemei, catering manager of the Village.