Beijing sharpens ice sports ahead of Winter Games
With the upcoming 2022 Beijing Olympic Winter Games kicking off in less than 40 days, the capital has ramped up efforts to quicken the city's winter sports development among residents, authorities said on Monday.
During the past seven winters, Beijing has carried out more than 20,000 ice and snow activities among the public and over 31 million people have participated by December, Ge Jun, deputy director of the Beijing Municipal Sports Bureau, told a news conference in Beijing on Monday.
In cooperation with the Beijing Municipal Education Commission, the sports authority of the capital also put winter sports in syllabuses of the primary and middle schools in Beijing and gave professional instruction to students.
Liu Xiaoming, deputy director of the Beijing education commission, said nearly 2.1 million elementary and middle school students have tried winter sports since 2017.
The sports authority in Beijing increased its ice and snow facilities from 42 ice rinks, 44 ice surfaces and 22 ski sites in 2015 to 82 ice rinks, 97 ice surfaces and 32 ski sites this year, according to Ge.
He also said the first Winter Games of Beijing, held in the city from 2018 to 2019, attracted 62,400 participants, effectively stimulating the enthusiasm from various districts to train youthful winter sports talent.
As of December, five city-level youth ice hockey teams and one skiing team, as well as 125 district-level youth winter sports teams were built, and the number of registered young skiers had increased from 79 in 2017 to 7,565 in 2021, Ge said.
Seasonal ice rinks have been installed on campus in some qualified schools in Beijing's Dongcheng district, and northwestern Yanqing district also organized teachers and students to receive training on public skiing facilities, leading to over 100,000 students in 30 schools to participate in skiing.
"Promoting the popularity of winter sports in primary and secondary schools in Beijing is vital and can add more flavor to the upcoming 2022 Winter Olympics," said Liu, the municipal education commission's deputy director.
To continue developing winter sports, Liu suggested establishing a long-term mechanism for their development on campuses in Beijing and integrating exercises and education to make more schools and students able to participate.
"It will form a trend in ice and snow sports, to make it a healthy pursuit of youth and better improve young students' development in all aspects," he said.
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