My Trip To China Part 5: Faciliities and Physical Resources


In the fifth part of this blog series I want to take a look at the facilities on the campus. Unfortunately, no description I can provide will do the place justice but I will try nonetheless. As I mentioned in a previous blog entry, the Beijing Sport University is essentially part of a sport system and culture that also includes many of the national training centers. On the same campus as the university were national training centers for rhythmic gymnastics, gymnastics, badminton, table tennis, boxing, tennis, soccer, and track and field (which was in the process of being moved from a location across town). All of the facilities were amazing but the sport science building, tennis, and track and field centers were the most amazing. The sport science building was newly built and featured a Qualsys motion analysis system, force plates, a 4 lane 60 meter Mondo runway with 2 lanes that finished in a long jump pit, 6 Power Plates, the largest premium RedCord station I had ever seen, approximately 5 Kaiser training stations (one of the few non-free weight devices I like), and some very fancy electronic and selectorized resistance equipment that were organized in to groups named Audi and Volkswagon. When asked why the machines were classified as such, the answer was that ‘each one of these machines costs as much as an Audi, and each one of these machines costs as much as a Volkswagon.’ To top things off, the sport science building also featured 24 high altitude apartments that would permit high-low training and living as well as research on altitude training in a controlled environment. The tennis center housed both tennis and table tennis with each having dedicated areas. I would guess that the facility was at least 120,000 square feet. The weight room for the table tennis team was approximately 3 times larger than the 4 weight rooms at the Chula Vista, Colorado Springs (which has 2 weight rooms), and Lake Placid Olympic training centers combined. Yes, you read that right…the Chinese national table tennis team has a weight training room that is three times larger than the combined area of the 4 weight rooms used for ALL of the U.S. Olympic development sports. Perhaps the only thing upstaging the sport science building and Tennis National Training Center was the track facilities. Within a quarter mile radius, one could step foot on any of 3 adjacent outdoor tracks or 2 banked indoor tracks. That’s right, 5 different tracks all within a 3 minute walk. Each of these tracks was in great condition and complete with multiple runways and throwing rings. One of the outdoor tracks actually had a 30m ramp with 3 different grades as well as a special calisthenic area for doing dips, pullups, gymnastic exercises and many other exercises. The best of all the tracks though was actually the new indoor track. This track, which was just recently completed and is in the process of becoming the official National Training Center, featured a 5 foot bank, a 150m straightaway, multiple runways, glass walls, 50+ foot ceilings, a coaches observation deck, and a new weight room. Check out the pictures in these three galleries to get a better idea of the facilities looked like (1, 2, 3) or watch this video for a little more detailed look.