Athletes' village of National Youth Games accommodating excellence
Competitors enjoy a bite to eat in the athletes' village at the Second National Youth Games in Taiyuan, Shanxi province. Organizers have gone to great lengths to deliver nutritious and healthy meals for the youngsters. [Photo by Wang Zhuangfei/China Daily]
Much-vaunted athletes' village pulling out all the stops for young competitors
The 12,000-plus competitors at the ongoing Second National Youth Games have plenty on their minds as they chase glory and medals.
One less thing for them to worry about, however, is their day-to-day living, thanks to the state-of-the-art athletes' village in Taiyuan.
Located beside Shanxi Sports Center Stadium, the 160,000-square-meter village is comprised of 15 buildings, with 1,900 rooms with 9,500 beds. Each room is equipped with new furniture and appliances, including a TV, air conditioning and a washing machine.
The complex also features comprehensive support facilities such as gyms, a medical center, canteen and volunteer center.
With the Games not even a week old, the village has already received 700 letters of thanks from appreciative athletes and coaches.
"Our aim is to provide the athletes and coaches who come here with a safe, convenient and cozy living environment," said Du Junxia, deputy director of the athletes' village committee.
"We offer comprehensive services and facilities that are well designed to fit the needs of all the villagers. The Games are a grand party for the young athletes, so we also organize many cultural and recreational activities for them too."
Proper sustenance is crucial for athletes during the Games, so the three-floor canteen, which opens daily from 6 am to midnight and seats 3,620 people, is a vital part of the village.
In addition to serving up nutritious and flavorsome fare, the canteen features a food-safety center that monitors ingredient selection, transportation and cooking, 24 hours a day.
"As a food-safety measure, we set up live surveillance cameras at the places along the food-supply chain," said Jing Peixing, an official at the food-safety center.
"From the warehouse to the kitchen and canteen, everything is monitored. We also have memos to record the whole process from selecting the ingredients to cooking.
"Each ingredient is given a unique code. Just like each person has his or her ID card, each food transportation car also has its own code. It's seamless food safety supervision."
Besides being well fed, athletes are well occupied - thanks to an interaction center that offers activities such as traditional ceramics, Chinese Go, paper cutting and even stage dramas.
The entertainment became educational when the athletes joined in a series of games designed to improve their anti-doping knowledge.
"The Anti-Doping Outreach Program is an educational activity that we organize at major sports events," said Sai Fei, an official from the General Administration of Sport of China.
"The theme of our activity this time is 'Win Clean Medals'. We combined the anti-doping knowledge with games. There are nine levels for the participants to finish."
Shu Xinyu, a 16-year-old shooting athlete from the Ningxia Hui autonomous region, said he learned a lot from the initiative.
"I have to compete this afternoon, so I thought I'd come here to relax," said Shu.
"The games were very useful in terms of spreading anti-doping knowledge.
"This is actually my first major competition, so I'm learning and of course anti-doping is a major part of that. If one day I can compete at a higher level internationally, I can better prepare myself. I will for sure say no to doping."
A volunteer center also offers athletes assistance 15 hours a day and even has psychologists on hand to help.
"There are games for young athletes of different age groups, such as building paper models and foosball," said Du Yaxuan, one of the 414 volunteers. "There are also psychologists here to help those who need to have a more positive mentality."
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