National Olympic Sports Centre

National Olympic Sports CentreLocated in the northern suburbs of Beijing, National Olympic Sports Centre is the site of a giant indoor swimming pool -110 metres long and 76 metres wide. Construction of the complex began in April 1987 and was completed in December 1989. At a total cost of $ 1.53 million, the swimming pool was the most expensive and most architecturally sophisticated of the new facilities built for 1990 Asian Games. This is the first sports facility in China to adopt the modern architectural design usually used to build bridges. The 177-metre-long steel beam with a square cross section, 1.8 metres on each side is hung by cables tied to the two giant columns standing 60 and 70 metres respectively. It supports a 2,800-ton slope-shaped shining roof which features the unique Chinese style for roofs adopted by the imperial palaces in the Forbidden City.

Inside the building is a competition arena with an Olympic-sized swimming pool and a diving well. The 10-lane swimming pool is three metres deep. With such modern devices as underwater lighting and audio systems, it can play host to competitive swimming, synchronized swimming and water polo competitions. Also in the arena is a square diving well, 25 metres on each side and 5.5 metres deep. Installed by the poolside are 22 diving springboards and platforms, including 10fixed platforms. The poolside surface is heated to ensure the comfort of swimmers and divers. The pool water is circulated and is sterilized through a special system using ozone. The 6,OOO-seat spectator stands are set to the north and south of the arena, with a VIP box and zones reserved for press, competitors and disabled spectators. Under the southern stand is a warm-up pool, 50 metres long and 12.5 metres wide with a depth of 1. 8 metres, plus a practice pool and locker rooms: Under the southern stand are press rooms, a medical clinic, the telecommunications centre and rooms for judges and other personnel. Also in the complex are a gymnasium for training divers and swimmers and a hall for synchronized swimmers.

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