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Olympic Swimming Centre in China Converted to Water Park

by Kathy Jones on August 9, 2010 at 10:38 PM
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 Olympic Swimming Centre in China Converted to Water Park

State media outlets are reporting that Beijing's Olympic aquatic centre where superstar Michael Phelps swam to eight gold medals will re-open on Sunday as Asia's largest indoor water park.

The re-launch of the Water Cube, famed for its distinctive bubble-wrap skin, on August 8 will coincide with the two-year anniversary of the start of the Beijing Olympics, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

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Previous state media reports have said the water park in China's capital will include seven-storey slides, a wave machine, shopping arcades, cafes and performance stages.

Adults will have to pay 200 yuan (30 dollars) to enter the park and a ticket for children will cost 160 yuan, the report said -- a high price in a city where the minimum wage comes to 960 yuan a month.
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But visitors will still be able to visit the Water Cube -- officially known as the National Aquatics Centre -- without entering the park for far less, it added.

State media reported earlier this year that the revamp of the venue would cost 200 million yuan.

The Water Cube initially attracted thousands of visitors a day after the Beijing Olympics but as enthusiasm for the Games wore off and without other world-class aquatic competitions, the number of visitors fell off sharply.

Operators are hoping that the water park will pull in new crowds and prevent the venue from becoming a white elephant.

Source: AFP
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