Breaking the Ice: National plan encourages 300 mln to participate in winter sports in China
In China, new winter sports parks aim to promote winter sports in the run up to the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. The initiative is being pushed by Chinese President Xi Jinping as public participation in such sports in China is relatively low. The national plan will encourage 300 million people to participate in winter sports in the coming years. Our correspondent Frances Kuo has more.
These parks in Beijing are setting a new foundation for China.
"My kid says it is very exciting and loves to play this. He's so excited that he is almost restless."
Father and son were among the crowds at Yuyuantan Park. It's one of 11 new winter sports parks in Beijing. Covering a total of nearly one million square meters. Among the features -- an elementary ski trail where you can try your skills under the guidance of professional coaches. The park also includes an ice rink stretching 30-thousand square meters -- where you can try figure skating and ice hockey. This is all part of a push by Chinese president Xi Jinping -- to promote winter sports in the run-up to the 2022 Beijing Olympics. Xi says public participation and the competition in China are relatively low. So, it's rolling out a national plan to encourage 300 million people to participate in winter sports -- in the next four years.
"I am 55 years old, but I think skiing is a sport suitable for all people, old and young. You'd get addicted to it."
That's the hope at ski resorts like this one in Jilin province. The Chinese government wants to build the nation's first world-class ski resort complex at one city there. At the recent world snow day in China. Young skiers delivered the Olympic spirit while dashing down tracks.
DUAN SHIJIE, PRESIDENT CHINESE SKI ASSOCIATION "The promotion of World Snow Day, coupled with the development of China's economy and approaching Olympic Winter Games have added to the cultural atmosphere for the public participation of skiing."
In 2014, the capital debuted an annual open competition for ice and snow sports. Drawing thousands of people to participate in sports like speed skating and alpine skiing.
Skiing is a mixture of speed and passion. It's so exciting!
An enthusiasm for winter sports that China hopes will be fueled for 2022 and beyond. FRANCES KUO, CGTN.