If you’ve been following the Olympic freestyle skiing events, you may be distracted, and a little confused, by what stands behind the giant ski ramp.
While Olympic viewers are used to watching these winter sports against the backdrop of snow-capped mountains, Beijing’s Big Air Shougang venue gives an alternative backdrop of… nuclear power plants?
That’s what many fans think of at first sight of the grey, cylindrical towers. What they actually are, are tall chimney stacks and cooling towers.
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The 60-metre-high ski ramp was built on the site of a former steel mill that was shut down before the 2008 Summer Olympics due to air pollution concerns. It’ll be a permanent big air facility, the first of its kind in the world.
Either way, onlookers online had some mixed reactions towards this stadium. Many think it’s a venue straight out of a dystopian novel.
“Big Air Shougang is the most absurd and post-apocalyptic winter sports venue out there,” one person tweeted.
Big Air Shougang is the most absurd and post-apocalyptic winter sports venue out there. pic.twitter.com/l3zCe83Lrs
— Jakub Jaraczewski (@J_Jaraczewski) February 8, 2022
Really screaming ‘apocalypse’, weird it needs retouching to get that brownscape burned in. pic.twitter.com/EKFpDhAcBD
— ludicrous allusion to the mighty airs of a jackdaw (@BinAnimals) February 8, 2022
The Shougang Big Air Venue Set In A Disused Steel Mill Has Been Giving People Dystopian Vibes pic.twitter.com/tlxG5YFcGj
— Andreas Rabetche (@JoziBoySA) February 8, 2022
Others compared it to maps you can find on video games.
— The Gilded Jester (@TheGildedJester) February 7, 2022
— Shannon Encina (@ShannonEncina) February 8, 2022
While others appreciate the venue’s unique aesthetic.
(apparently) controversial opinion: Shougang Big Air is one of the coolest Olympic venues I’ve seen in years. The cooling towers give a real sense of place that, imho, is far more attractive than had Beijing tried to create an artificially bucolic setting. https://t.co/BbhwHxFPKT
— Thomas Stack (志明） (@T_Stack_) February 7, 2022
the ramp for the skiing big air event was built in the Shougang industrial park next to the cooling towers from a former steel mill and as a resident of Albany, NY, I am loving the aesthetic #lympics #Beijing2022 #ILoveNY pic.twitter.com/JShoIBFvcb
— manic succession (@undercoversale) February 7, 2022