Asian Winter Games fuel enthusiasm for ice and snow sports

January 13, 2024
Updated 2024/01/16 at 7:13 AM
4 Min Read

Host city of the 9th Asian Winter Games, northeast China’s Harbin has become a hub for ice and snow sports and activities, attracting tourists from all over China.

HARBIN, Jan. 13 (Xinhua) — Following the footprints of the Beijing Olympic Winter Games, the 9th Asian Winter Games in Harbin in 2025 will continue to fuel the enthusiasm for winter sports.

The capital city of northeast China’s Heilongjiang province already gained in exploded popularity for its remarkable winter resources this winter and hosting the Asian winter sport gala makes it all the more attractive.

In Harbin’s renowned Ice-Snow World, sporting elements were added this year. As the theme of the Asian Winter Games is prominently featured in the park, snow sculptures of various sports such as skiing and ice hockey are set up.

Harbin Ice-Snow World has also set up a skiing area. On one snow wall, organizers have carved intricate patterns related to ice and snow sports, providing a unique opportunity for people to place their bodies within the patterns and take photos.

Tourists get a taste of skiing at Yabuli Ski Resort, northeast China’s Heilongjiang Province, Dec. 30, 2023. (Handout via Xinhua)

Before the mascots, emblem, and slogan for the Harbin Asian Winter Games were unveiled on Thursday, ice sculptures of mascots and emblems from past editions of the Asian Winter Games were already on display.

In addition, ski resorts continue to attract growing number of the tourists, especially from southern part of China.

In the Yabuli Ski Resort, which has hosted several world-class competitions, Zhai Min from southeast China’s coastal Fujian Province tried skiing for the first time during the New Year holiday.

“I heard that the snow in Yabuli is better, so I came here,” said Zhai.

“This winter, there are many visitors from southern China,” said He Huijie, general manager of Yabuli Sun Mountain Resort, adding that to meet the demand of visitors, the resort has increased dining facilities and organized multiple skiing competitions.

As of Thursday, the Yabuli Ski Resort has received a total of 410,900 visitors.

Harbin has recently hosted numerous public ice and snow activities in parks and sports venues.

Tourists enjoy recreational activities on the frozen Songhua River in Harbin, Dec. 29, 2023. (Xinhua/Wang Junbao)

After Ai Gangdong, a tourist from Guangdong, participated in a snow tug-of-war competition on the Songhua River last week, he was deeply impressed.

“I feel that the atmosphere of ice and snow sports in Harbin is very strong,” he said.

Every year, various ice and snow entertainment activities are set up on the frozen Songhua River, including curling, ice hockey and snow football, catering to the entertainment needs of various age groups, especially young people.

Xu Meng, the principal of Qingbin Elementary School in Harbin, said, “Ice and snow sports are the most challenging outdoor activities that test individual willpower. It allows children to enjoy the fun of sports while also developing qualities of willpower.”

In 1996, Harbin hosted the Asian Winter Games, which then sparked local people’s huge interest in ice and snow sports. “We will enhance the facilities for ice and snow sports in Harbin and organize more ice and snow activities to involve more people in it,” said Dong Xingwang, deputy director of Harbin Sports Bureau.  ■

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