Chart of the day: Winter sports, a trending lifestyle in China

The 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics opens in ten days. Over 346 million Chinese people have participated in winter sports since 2015 when Beijing successfully won the bid to host the 2022 Winter Olympics together with co-host city Zhangjiakou, according to a survey released on January 12.

Three hundred and forty-six million is approximately one-fifth of China's population and nearly ten times Canada's total population.

Winter sports appear to be more popular among young people aged between 18 and 30, accounting for 37.27 percent of the total population.

Of the 346 million people, 143 million live in east China, 51 million in the northeast, 84 million in the west and 68 million in the central part of the country.

"Entertainment" and "health" were two of the main reasons given for participating in winter sports, accounting for 70.35 percent and 15.78 percent, respectively.

The survey found that 93 percent of the 346 million people engaged in winter sports spontaneously, and over 86 percent took part either for entertainment or physical exercise. Nearly 40 percent participated in winter sports at least once a year, while around 11 percent took part more than three times every year.

Public enthusiasm for winter sports has been boosted by a boom in the construction of facilities.

China now has 654 standard ice rinks, an increase of 317 percent from 2015. Also, indoor and outdoor ski resorts have reached 803, up from 568 in 2015.

According to the survey, 254 million winter sports-related trips were made in China in 2021. A rise to 305 million is expected from the current winter season, as the upcoming 2022 Winter Olympics is boosting enthusiasm for winter sports tourism in China.

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