An interview with reporter Xu Ruyi from China.org.cn on winter sports in China:
This Spring Festival holiday that just passed was ordinary yet special. Like always, we made dumplings, put up spring couplets and watched chunwan (the Spring Festival gala). Unlike past Spring Festivals, this year we’ve been following updates on the Beijing 2022 Winter Games. However, watching these winter sports is not satisfying enough — for many of us have chosen to experience them for ourselves during this Chinese New Year holiday.
Yeah, ever since Beijing won the bid for the XXIV Olympic Winter Games, winter sports have become more and more popular in everyday life. More ice rinks and ski resorts have been set up, allowing more people to feel the pleasure of fun and athleticism on snow and ice. In southern China, the climate is relatively milder. Freezing weather and snow are not very common even in winters. But with indoor ski slopes, ice rinks and synthetic ice, even people who have never seen real snow could try out those winter sports in a nearby shopping mall, or even the middle of a scorching summer. Many cities in China have introduced winter sports like skiing and curling into P.E. classes for elementary school students. More and more children are choosing to practice figure skating and ice hockey among other sports as their hobbies.
Over the years, I have personally felt the passion for winter sports grow in China. When I was younger, I never went to a ski resort, and very few people around me would choose winter sports for recreation. But last year, I tried snowboarding and fell in love with this sport immediately. It opened a new world for me.
I believe I’m not the only one attracted by these winter sports. On the ice or in the snow, people get a glimpse firsthand into the bond between humanity and nature, a synergy that gave birth to these sports; or people can challenge themselves while living the joy granted by these sports, which also echoes with the Olympic spirit. Enabling more people to enjoy winter sports and providing more possibilities in their lives — I think that is the positive influence this Winter Olympics gave people, which will last well after Beijing 2022 ends.
Statistics show that up to October 2021, over 340 million people have participated in winter sports in China. That is a commitment well fulfilled, but if we look at the bigger picture, we see how China is contributing to the global winter sports industry, including winter sports equipment manufacturing and tourism. Let’s hope Beijing 2022 will come to a successful culmination, and that more people could choose winter sports as an enjoyable way to spend their holidays in the future.