SPORTS A taste of winter sports in Beijing even without ice or snow


A taste of winter sports in Beijing even without ice or snow


20:06, December 13, 2020

A 11-year-old works on a ski training machine at The Place in Beijing, China, December 12, 2020. (photo: Xinhua)

No ice or snow? That shouldn't stop you from trying your hand at winter sports.

At an event in downtown Beijing on Saturday, aspiring athletes of all ages and background got a taste of winter sports like skiing, biathlon and curling without needing to leave the city.

The event was organised by the Winter Sports Management Center of the General Administration of Sport of China and the China Ski Association, as Beijing prepares to host Winter Olympics in 2022.

Participants play floor curling at The Place in Beijing, December 12, 2020. (Photo: Xinhua)

As part of the winter sports experience, ski training machines that even professional athletes use to practice were made available for all to try: no snow or experience were needed to learn the basic moves.

Current and former members of China's national team and provincial teams were also present to demonstrate the equipment and show off their skills.

This included Li Jiajun, an Olympic silver- and bronze-medal winning speed skater and two-time world champion, who showed his sporting versatility by stepping onto the ski training machine and also shared his long experience and knowledge of winter sports with attendees.

The "Nationwide Skiing Stamina Contest" also included races, with participants divided into three categories: teenagers (9 to 17 years old), adults (18 to 60 years old) and professionals.

Non-professional participants could choose between a 200-meter and 1.5-kilometer cross-country ski race. Professional athletes meanwhile got to show off their stride in a men's 10-kilometer and women's 5-kilometer competition.

A 11-year-old child takes aim during a simulated rifle shooting at The Place in Beijing, December 12, 2020. (Photo: Xinhua)

The event attracted participants as young as 10 years old and as old as 80, with many using the ski training machine for the first time.

Others were able to simulate taking part in a biathlon competition with a rifle shooting activity, or demonstrated their aim and stone-sliding skills in a game of floor curling.

Needing no snow or ice, the event has already been held in southern Chinese cities like Shanghai and Xiangyang, and will visit more cities to promote winter sports all over the country.

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