SPORTS Beijing 2022 inspires enthusiasm for winter sports in China


Beijing 2022 inspires enthusiasm for winter sports in China

10:07, July 29, 2022

Medalists take a selfie during the flower ceremony of the women's 3,000m relay final of short track speed skating at Capital Indoor Stadium in Beijing, capital of China, Feb. 13, 2022. (Xinhua/Wang Yuguo)

The influence of the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games can be seen in China's enthusiasm for winter sports in summer.

The outdoor temperature exceeded 30 degrees Celsius, but Tian Rui's five-year-old daughter was wearing a cotton coat. The secret of her not being afraid of the high temperature came from the "large indoor refrigerator" in Harbin, northeast China's Heilongjiang Province.

The "large indoor refrigerator" is a 1,800-square-meter air-dome ice rink, which can meet the sports needs of ice hockey, speed skating and figure skating. "My daughter comes here every week to learn figure skating," Tian said.

Harbin Ming Jiang Ice Sports Center operates this air-dome ice rink. "After the Beijing Olympic Winter Games, the number of students here has increased significantly, and now the number of students has reached more than 1,000," said Meng Qingyou, coach of the center.

In Harbin, many air-dome ice rinks are distributed in many areas of the city. These air-dome ice rinks provide ice sports training grounds for local teenagers. During this summer vacation, it is difficult to find free parking spaces in the parking lot in front of the air-dome ice rinks. Many parents bring sports equipment and take their children to enjoy the coolness brought by winter sports.

In addition to skating, the "BONSKI" indoor ski resort in Harbin is also very popular this summer. There are eight ski slopes with different gradients, and the highest vertical drop is 80 meters, which can accommodate thousands of people skiing simultaneously.

"The temperature in the snow field is kept at minus 5 degrees Celsius all year round, providing good conditions for skiers to ski all year round," said Guan Liang, general manager of the "BONSKI" indoor ski resort.

In Beijing, the renovated Capital Indoor Stadium for the short track speed skating and figure skating events at the Beijing Olympic Winter Games has officially opened to the public, attracting many people to participate in ice sports.

Not only mass sports, but in Qiqihar, the "City of Ice Hockey," the just-concluded Ice Hockey Invitational Tournament attracted 80 participating teams, and a total of 192 games were played in eight game days.

"I watch games in the arena in summer, escape the heat and enjoy winter sports," said Fan Guoqiang, a citizen of Qiqihar. During the game, the webcast also attracted millions of views.

The successful holding of the Beijing Olympic Winter Games has ignited the enthusiasm of Chinese people to participate in winter sports and provided a historic opportunity for developing the ice and snow industry.

After the Beijing Olympic Winter Games, the government departments of Heilongjiang Province issued two documents to support the development of winter sports and release the dividends of the ice and snow industry.

As August approaches, at the famous Harbin Ice and Snow World, workers are building indoor ice and snow tourism facilities, a multi-billion-dollar project that will allow people to watch the ice lanterns in summer.

"After the project is completed, it is expected that the annual number of tourists will reach four million," said Guo Hongwei, chairman of Harbin Ice and Snow World Co., Ltd.

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