BEIJING, Nov. 11 (Xinhua) — As Beijing’s Wukesong Sports Center staged an ice hockey test event for Beijing 2022 this week, 47-year-old ice-maker Richard Alan Ragan revealed he was satisfied with the ice-making work in the stadium and was confident to showcase the “best ice” next February.
“I think the ice has been fantastic,” Ragan told Xinhua about the performance of ice throughout the test event.
“We have a really good crew here, and they have learned a lot. They’ve worked really hard and the ice is really good.”
Ragan has been working as a professional ice-maker for about 15 years, and he regards Wukesong as one of the best buildings he has worked in.
“I really like working here,” he said.
“The engineering side of the building has been great. I’ve been able to tell them what temperature I want and they do it right away. That has been really, really fantastic, which helps a lot for the ice.”
The American is currently working for IIHF to help prepare the ice well for next year’s Winter Olympics.
“I think one of the challenges is that this is not a hockey building. It’s a basketball building,” said Ragan about the challenge of making the ice in Wukesong. “That’s kind of a little bit challenge to figure out the (different) systems.”
Ragan will be in Beijing when the Winter Olympics take place next year. He is confident that the ice in Wukesong will be in the best shape.
“It’ll be the best ice they’ve ever seen. We have a really good crew, and this building is great. I can’t wait to have the building with people in it,” said Ragan.
“I think the Olympic Games are going to be awesome,” he added.