CHINA / SOCIETY
Winter sports snowball in China with Beijing 2022 approaching
Published: Dec 19, 2021 06:03 PM
Citizens enjoy ice and snow games on a public ice rink in Harbin, Northeast China's Heilongjiang Province on December 17, 2021. Photo: VCG

Citizens enjoy ice and snow games on a public ice rink in Harbin, Northeast China's Heilongjiang Province on December 17, 2021. Photo: VCG


The Beijing 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games will open within 50 days, which has also largely boosted the enthusiasm for winter sports among the Chinese public, especially among the youth.

China has set the momentous goal of involving 300 million people in winter sports, with 650 skating rinks and 800 ski resorts ready by 2022. In line with this vision, winter sports have seen development all across China.

On Saturday, the 8th National Public Ice and Snow Season was launched in Wuhan, Central China's Hubei Province. The festival aims to allow citizens to experience winter sports, publicize related knowledge, and support the Winter Olympics. 

Though Wuhan does not snow much, performance and experience activities have been set inside the city's winter sports center. 

Moreover, a special ice and snow carnival will allow young students to try out winter sports in reality or with the assistance of VR technology.

The Beijing Citizen Happy Ice and Snow Season, opened on Saturday, has also come to its eighth year. In the past seven years, 26.46 million people have participated in the festival.

Xu Xueling, a white collar worker in Chaoyang district of Beijing, on Sunday just finished her second ski board weekend in Chongli, North China's Hebei Province, also the co-host city of the 2022 Winter Olympics.

Having never tried winter sports before, Xu said that she decided to join the winter games frenzy because "many friends around are doing winter sports nowadays."

"It is a bit hard for beginners, but you need to conquer the fear," she told the Global Times. "I enjoy trying new things."

People across Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region have been enjoying winter sports. This winter, Altay in northern Xinjiang became a popular destination for Chinese skiing lovers for the region has one of China's most suitable conditions for the sport. 

Altay has made full use of its unique snow resources, and continuously improves related infrastructure. Local people's enthusiasm for participating in ice and snow sports is also increasing, and an increasing number of parents choose to send their children to learn skiing and skating skills.

As a latecomer to the world of winter sports, China is seeing its people embrace skis and snowboards in record numbers. In 2019, more than 13 million Chinese participated in skiing, of which 72 percent were first timers, according to a ski industry white book, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

By 2022, the ski market is expected to be worth 26 billion yuan (about $4 billion), a nearly fivefold increase from 2015 when Beijing won its bid to host the Winter Olympics. 

Global Times


Students practice aerobics with winter sports actions in Gucheng No.2 Primary School in Shijingshan district, Beijing on December 14, 2021. Photo: Li Hao/GT

?People try ice skating in downtown Shanghai on December 16, 2021. Photo: VCG

People try ice skating in downtown Shanghai on December 16, 2021. Photo: VCG

An athlete demonstrates skiing skills on December 17, 2021 during an event to promote winter sports in Hohhot, North China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. Photo: VCG

An athlete demonstrates skiing skills on December 17, 2021 during an event to promote winter sports in Hohhot, North China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. Photo: VCG

The ski resort in Altay, Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region attracts tourists from all over China this winter.Photo:  VCG

The ski resort in Altay, Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region attracts tourists from all over China this winter.Photo: VCG

Pupils in Luanzhou, North China's Hebei Province play curling on December 15, 2021 during an activity of local

Pupils in Luanzhou, North China's Hebei Province play curling on December 15, 2021 during an activity of local "winter sports entering campus" campaign. Photo: VCG