HARBIN – The lasting influence of Beijing 2022 can be seen in China’s enthusiasm for winter sports this summer.
With temperatures reaching over 30 degrees Celsius in Harbin, northeast China’s Heilongjiang Province, Tian Rui’s 5-year-old daughter can still enjoy figure skating on an air dome rink that extends on 1,800 square meters and also meets the requirements of ice hockey and speed skating.
“My daughter comes here every week to learn figure skating,” Tian said.
The aerial dome ice rink is operated by the Harbin Ming Jiang Ice Sports Center. “After the Beijing Winter Olympics, the number of students here increased significantly. Now there are more than 1,000 students,” said Meng Qingyou, a coach at the center.
Harbin has many aerial dome ice rinks, which are located in various parts of the city to provide training areas for local children and teenagers.
During this summer vacation, free parking spaces are hard to come by at air-dome ice rink grounds, with parents flocking to the centers wanting their children to expend their energy in a cool environment.
In addition to skating, the BONSKI indoor ski resort in Harbin is also very popular this summer. It has eight ski slopes of varying slopes. The highest vertical drop is 80 meters, the track can accommodate thousands of skiers simultaneously.
“The temperature on the snowfield is kept at minus 5 degrees Celsius, providing good conditions for skiing all year round,” said Guan Liang, general manager of the resort.
In Beijing, the renovated Capital Indoor Stadium, which hosted short track speed skating and figure skating at this year’s Winter Olympics, officially opened to the public, attracting many people to participate in the sports of ice.
In Qiqihar, Heilongjiang Province, the just-concluded ice hockey invitational tournament attracted 80 teams, with 192 games played over eight days.
The tournament webcast also attracted millions of views.
“I watch matches in the arena in the summer, escape the heat and enjoy winter sports,” said local resident Fan Guoqiang.
The success of Beijing 2022 has raised Chinese people’s enthusiasm to participate in winter sports and provided a historic opportunity for the development of the ice and snow industry.
After Beijing 2022, the government departments of Heilongjiang Province issued two documents to support the development of winter sports and the ice and snow sports industry.
Harbin is famous for its world of ice and snow, with workers currently constructing indoor facilities that will allow people to view the magical light-infused sculptures of the winter tourist attraction during the summer.
“After the project is completed, the annual number of tourists is expected to reach four million,” said Guo Hongwei, chairman of Harbin Ice and Snow World Co. Ltd.