Over 1,000 spectators watch an ice hockey test event at the Wukesong Sports Center in Beijing, April 4, 2021. [Photo/Xinhua]

BEIJING – During the “Experience Beijing” ice sports testing program, diplomats from multiple countries gave compliments on the preparation work of the Beijing Winter Olympics and looked forward to a winter Games as successful as Beijing 2008.

Wukesong Sports Center welcomed spectators to its ice hockey game for the first time on Sunday. Several foreign diplomats attended and shared the excitement.

Tea Pirih, economic counselor at the Embassy of the Republic of Slovenia in Beijing, was impressed with the preparations.

“I must say that from what we have seen by now, we see that the preparations are going well. We just hope that soon our technical crew and athletes will have the possibility to visit China and to see on their own with their own eyes.”

Converting from a basketball arena and concert venue to an ice hockey rink, Wukesong Sports Center has now become a multi-use venue that William Freyr Huntingdon-Williams is “very pleased to see.”

“And that’s very good for the whole sustainability of the games and going forward,” said the first secretary and deputy head of mission at the Embassy of Iceland.

“Now the newest thing here of course is the new technology in ice making, which we’ve been told is much more environmentally friendly, which we’re very pleased,” Huntingdon-Williams added.

Journalists work at the mixed zone during an ice hockey test program at the Wukesong Sports Center in Beijing, April 4, 2021. [Photo/Xinhua]

According to Adam Daniel Breuer Zehevi, cultural attache at the Embassy of Hungary, the event organization in China “is very professionally done” that he expects everything to go smoothly without anything disturbing caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Hopefully there will be one of the kind as we have seen back in 2008 during the summer Olympic Games Beijing has really done everything in its power to create very successful events,” said Zehevi. “And we are hoping to see the same thing now.”

Zehevi also commended the appeal of engaging 300 million people in winter sports in China. “I think it is a very good idea, because regardless whether it is winter sport or summer sport, it is very important for the healthy lifestyle,” said Zehevi. “In part of the modern lifestyle as well, especially most people stay in office nowadays, so I think it is very positive to change the attitude for the healthy lifestyle.”

“We can already feel the excitement building up and we can see the organizers really do everything in their power to bring the Olympic spirit.”