Pre­par­ing for Win­ter Sports

Beijing (English) - - CONTENTS - Trans­lated by Wang Hui­hui Edited by Mark Zuiderveld Pho­tos by Zhang Xin and Zhang Zongyun Photo cour­tesy of the World Win­ter Sports (Beijing) Expo 2017

The World Win­ter Sports (Beijing) Expo 2017 was held from Septem­ber 7 to 10, ex­plor­ing de­vel­op­ment prospects of China’s win­ter sports in­dus­try through dis­plays, con­ven­tions and ne­go­ti­a­tions.

The World Win­ter Sports (Beijing) Expo 2017, or WWSE 2017, was held at the China Na­tional Con­ven­tion Cen­ter in Beijing from Septem­ber 7 to 10. With the theme of “Lead­ing the Way,” the WWSE 2017 ex­plored the de­vel­op­ment prospect and path of China's win­ter sports in­dus­try through win­ter sports ed­u­ca­tion, Olympic city de­vel­op­ment, ski re­sort op­er­a­tion and man­age­ment, ex­hi­bi­tion and dis­play, sum­mit fo­rum, sup­port­ing ac­tiv­i­ties and busi­ness ne­go­ti­a­tion.

With an ex­hi­bi­tion area of more than 22,000 square me­tres, the WWSE 2017 at­tracted over 400 renowned brands from home and abroad and over 9,000 en­ter­prises. More than 200 do­mes­tic and for­eign ex­perts were in­vited to give lec­tures at a main con­fer­ence and over 20 sub-con­fer­ences, to an­a­lyse new trends of China's win­ter sports in­dus­try. The WWSE 2017 aimed to sup­port the 2022 Win­ter Olympics, lead do­mes­tic win­ter sports in­dus­try, pro­mote its goal of “300 mil­lion peo­ple to take part in win­ter sports,” and build China into a coun­try with strong win­ter sports.

Win­ter Olympic Pas­sion

Gen­eral Sec­re­tary Xi Jin­ping pointed out in his speech that the 2022 Win­ter Olympics will be a sym­bolic event for China. As the date ap­proaches, the 2022 Win­ter Olympics has also pro­vided China's win­ter sports in­dus­try and even the whole sports cause with golden op­por­tu­ni­ties—gov­ern­ment in­creases its sup­port for the win­ter sports in­dus­try, and the num­ber of peo­ple tak­ing part in win­ter sports in­creases year by year. In the mean­time, China is the only coun­try that achieves rapid growth against the stag­na­tion of global ski mar­ket. The worth of China's win­ter sports in­dus­try is ex­pected to ex­ceed 1 tril­lion yuan in 2025.

With China's win­ter sports in­dus­try's re­cent de­vel­op­ment, the WWSE, as one of the largest ex­pos for win­ter sports, has re­sponded to Gen­eral Sec­re­tary Xi Jin­ping's call for de­vel­op­ing the win­ter sports in­dus­try, given sup­port to the prepa­ra­tions for the 2022 Win­ter Olympics, boosted China's win­ter sports in­dus­try, and im­proved the

win­ter sports in­dus­try as well as the en­tire sports in­dus­try.

The WWSE 2017 set up sev­eral ex­hi­bi­tion ar­eas, in­clud­ing Win­ter Gar­ment and Ac­ces­sories, Win­ter Travel Des­ti­na­tion, Na­tional and Re­gional Pavil­ions, Moun­tain & Win­ter Sports Hi-tech, Olympic Theme, Win­ter Sports Show, Win­ter Sports Games and Cul­ture, In­tro­duc­ing Win­ter Sports into Schools, In­ter­net plus Sports, Ma­chin­ery & Equip­ment, and Real Ice Arena and In­ter­ac­tive Zone. It in­te­grated equip­ment man­u­fac­tur­ing, in­dus­try ser­vices, win­ter tourism, win­ter fit­ness and win­ter cul­ture, cre­at­ing a dis­play and in­ter­ac­tion plat­form for the win­ter sports in­dus­try.

The Beijing Or­gan­is­ing Com­mit­tee for the 2022 Olympic and Par­a­lympic Win­ter Games and Win­ter Par­a­lympic also show­cased the lat­est de­vel­op­ments of the 2022 Win­ter Olympics at the expo and pro­vided the pub­lic with the op­por­tu­nity to learn more about win­ter sports, and the Olympic and Par­a­lympic Win­ter Games, at­tract­ing more peo­ple to take part in win­ter sports. Yan­qing's ex­hi­bi­tion area dis­played its prepa­ra­tions for the Win­ter Olympics, pref­er­en­tial poli­cies for win­ter projects and tourism re­sources.

Xiong Xiaoge, found­ing part­ner of In­ter­na­tional Data Group (IDG), said, “The WWSE in­tro­duces world-class win­ter sports prod­ucts, tech­nolo­gies, man­age­ment and ser­vices to in­te­grate the most ad­van­ta­geous re­sources of the in­dus­try. With a for­ward per­spec­tive, the WWSE leads the de­vel­op­ment of the win­ter sports in­dus­try, deep­ens the pub­lic's un­der­stand­ing of and love for win­ter sports, and pro­motes win­ter sports to­wards mass leisure sports.”

Ad­vanced Tech­nolo­gies

Yet de­vel­op­ing the win­ter sports in­dus­try isn't with­out the par­tic­i­pa­tion from the masses. The WWSE 2017 in­tro­duced colour­ful ex­hi­bi­tions and ac­tiv­i­ties to make or­di­nary vis­i­tors feel the in­fi­nite pas­sion of win­ter sports, and share the WWSE and the Win­ter Olympics to­gether.

There was an ice show field, a snow slope and some curl­ing ac­tiv­i­ties at the Real Ice Arena and In­ter­ac­tive Zone, where vis­i­tors could en­gage in win­ter sports. The In­ter­net plus Sports Zone in­tro­duced win­ter sports sim­u­la­tion sys­tem, in­tel­li­gent sports equip­ment and app ex­pe­ri­ence, and Sharp, BOE and Fox­conn dis­played the lat­est 8K tech­nol­ogy and prod­ucts ap­plied to mod­ern sports.

Xiong Xiaoge was op­ti­mistic about the 8K tech­nol­ogy. Fox­conn will use the 8K tech­nol­ogy to report at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. 8K res­o­lu­tion, or 8K ul­tra high def­i­ni­tion (UHD), is the cur­rent high­est UHDTV res­o­lu­tion in dig­i­tal tele­vi­sion and dig­i­tal cin­e­matog­ra­phy. 8K UHD has 16 times as many pix­els as Full HD, and is able to show ev­ery de­tail of win­ter sports, es­pe­cially those fea­tur­ing high speed like fig­ure skat­ing.

Dry ski tech­nol­ogy also at­tracted at­ten­tion at the expo. As a com­ple­ment to the ski in­dus­try, dry ski ush­ered in great de­vel­op­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties in terms of pol­icy and busi­ness. The Mass Win­ter Sports Pro­mo­tion Plan (2016–2020) jointly is­sued by the Gen­eral Ad­min­is­tra­tion of Sport and other 23 min­is­ters and com­mis­sions made it clear to have 300 mil­lion peo­ple to take part in win­ter sports, and to build dry ski slopes with new tech­nolo­gies and ma­te­ri­als to cre­ate al­ter­na­tive win­ter sports venues.

Ac­cord­ing to Li Mingy­ong, chair­man of the Beijing Olympic For­est Park JF Dry Ski Slope, the JF Dry Ski Slope is lo­cated in the south­ern part of the Olympic For­est Park with an area of 20,000 square me­tres, and has been put to use since the open­ing day of the WWSE 2017 (Septem­ber 7), putting an end to days when peo­ple can only ski in win­ter or at sub­ur­ban ski re­sorts. The JF Dry Ski Slope is the largest out­door ski re­sort avail­able year­round in Asia, with 18 kinds of ski­ing trails for skiers of all ages and at all lev­els. In the mean­time it also serves as a train­ing venue for China's na­tional ski team and Beijing ski team, to help the na­tional ski team bet­ter pre­pare for the 2022 Win­ter Olympics and re­serve more po­ten­tial ski ath­letes.

The na­tional youth ski team al­ready be­gan train­ing on the JF Dry Ski Slope. Youth ath­letes step on the ar­ti­fi­cial “snow,” mak­ing the noise re­sem­bling real snow. JF Dry Ski Slope fea­tures dis­tinct ar­eas and com­pre­hen­sive ski trails. It can re­ceive 3,000 peo­ple at most per day, and is ex­pected to re­ceive 300,000 skiers per year, hailed as the “ski train­ing school of the cap­i­tal.”

De­vel­op­ment Blueprint

Aside from the main con­fer­ence, over 20 sub-con­fer­ences and spe­cial events all fo­cused on China's win­ter sports in­dus­try, an­a­lysed fu­ture mar­ket con­di­tions and de­vel­op­ment trends, and gave ad­vice and sug­ges­tions for the in­dus­try.

As the out­post of the 2022 Win­ter Olympics, the WWSE 2017 spe­cially set the Olympic City De­vel­op­ment Con­fer­ence, and in­vited the may­ors of the for­mer Olympic host cities, to dis­cuss the ex­pe­ri­ence of build­ing Olympic cities and the sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment of Beijing as a host city of both Sum­mer and Win­ter Olympics. To cul­ti­vate the po­ten­tial growth points of China's win­ter sports in­dus­try, IDG Sports

has co­op­er­ated with sev­eral in­vest­ment in­sti­tu­tions to hold en­trepreneur­ship com­pe­ti­tions for the win­ter sports in­dus­try. The In­tro­duc­ing Win­ter Sports into Schools Con­fer­ence drew on win­ter sports ed­u­ca­tion and train­ing ex­pe­ri­ence of the US, Aus­tria, Nor­way, Swe­den and other coun­tries keen on win­ter sports, in hopes of solv­ing the po­ten­tial dif­fi­cul­ties in spread­ing win­ter sports among Chi­nese youth, and achiev­ing the goal of 300 mil­lion peo­ple to take part in win­ter sports.

In ad­di­tion, con­fer­ences on man­age­ment of ski slopes and re­sorts, win­ter sports in­dus­try pan-en­ter­tain­ment, win­ter sports sci­en­tific and tech­no­log­i­cal in­no­va­tion, win­ter sports tal­ent cul­ti­va­tion, win­ter sports mar­ket­ing, and win­ter sports tourism also gath­ered the elites to cre­ate a blueprint for global win­ter sports in­dus­try, and ex­plore China's po­ten­tial in the win­ter sports mar­ket.

At the same time, Switzer­land held a four-day themed event; Fin­land held two con­fer­ences for its na­tional tourism in­dus­try and na­tional ed­u­ca­tion de­vel­op­ment, as well as a nat­u­ral build­ing sum­mit to ex­plore the re­la­tion be­tween hu­man liv­ing space and na­ture; Nor­way held the China–nor­way Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Sum­mit. Win­ter sports and camp ed­u­ca­tion, the China Ski Event Fo­rum, the China Win­ter Sports In­dus­try Cap­i­tal Sum­mit, the COOL Win­ter Sports In­dus­try and other spe­cial ac­tiv­i­ties com­bined the ef­forts of China's win­ter sports in­dus­try in tourism, ed­u­ca­tion and busi­ness de­vel­op­ment, and an­a­lysed the cur­rent sta­tus of the en­tire in­dus­try.

Re­ly­ing on the plat­form of the 2022 Win­ter Olympics, the WWSE widely drew on ad­vanced for­eign ex­pe­ri­ence, fully in­te­grated in­dus­trial re­sources, and pro­moted mass win­ter sports, boost­ing the in­no­va­tion and de­vel­op­ment of China's win­ter sports in the golden age, and help­ing China build a coun­try with strong win­ter sports.

Win­ter Sports Pro­mo­tion

Since Beijing and Zhangji­akou's suc­cess­ful bid for the 2022 Win­ter Olympics, win­ter sports and the win­ter sports in­dus­try has de­vel­oped rapidly in China. There­fore, tal­ent build­ing has be­come an im­por­tant task against such a back­ground.

At the WWSE 2016, many peo­ple showed in­ter­est in in­tro­duc­ing win­ter sports into schools. Ear­lier this year, the Na­tional De­vel­op­ment and Re­form Com­mis­sion, the Gen­eral Ad­min­is­tra­tion of Sport, the Na­tional Tourism Ad­min­is­tra­tion and the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion jointly is­sued a doc­u­ment to pro­mote the con­struc­tion of schools fea­tur­ing win­ter sports. Ac­cord­ing to the doc­u­ment, 5,000 win­ter sports demon­stra­tion schools shall be built in China by 2025. It is a goal that needs na­tion­wide par­tic­i­pa­tion. In­tro­duc­ing win­ter sports into schools and pro­mot­ing win­ter sports among youth are the most im­por­tant parts of the goal to bring 300 mil­lion peo­ple to take part in win­ter sports.

Zhu Zhou, vice pres­i­dent of the IDG in Asia, said, “The so­lu­tions for in­tro­duc­ing win­ter sports into schools showed var­i­ous trends at the WWSE 2017. For ex­am­ple, we see sim­u­lated ice and snow at the expo, and they are both re­lated to the hard­ware. We be­lieve that in­tro­duc­ing win­ter sports into schools and train­ing youth teams are also closely re­lated to the soft­ware, course­ware and train­ing. In ad­di­tion to the hard­ware, we are also con­cerned about con­tent and soft­ware, so we have lo­calised cour­ses about win­ter sports and re­lated sports tal­ent for Chi­nese stu­dents. Pop­u­lar­is­ing win­ter sports among youth re­quires a group of ex­pe­ri­enced and pro­fes­sional coaches. There­fore, we've ac­tively co­op­er­ated with Beijing Sport Uni­ver­sity and Harbin Sport Uni­ver­sity to pro­mote the in­tro­duc­tion of win­ter sports into schools through their pro­fes­sional coaches.”

Busi­ness Op­por­tu­ni­ties

A to­tal of 200 ex­hibitors took part in the WWSE 2016, while 400 in the WWSE 2017, in­clud­ing 200 Chi­nese ex­hibitors and 200 for­eign ex­hibitors. As more en­ter­prises en­gage in the win­ter sports in­dus­try, more in­vest­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties have emerged. Though the win­ter sports in­dus­try doesn't have a long his­tory in China, the State lead­ers look far ahead and aim high, and de­cide to have 300 mil­lion peo­ple to take part in win­ter sports and hold the 2022 Win­ter Olympics. Xiong Xiaoge said, “With a great mar­ket comes a big prom­ise.”

The WWSE is a plat­form for not only dis­play and com­mu­ni­ca­tion, but also busi­ness con­nec­tion. Since the first WWSE in 2016, some Euro­pean brands have set­tled

down in Yan­qing and Zhangji­akou. Be­fore its open­ing, the WWSE 2017 car­ried out busi­ness match­ing ser­vices for these brands. There­fore, many ex­hibitors and en­ter­prises have got more co­op­er­a­tive part­ners through mul­ti­ple chan­nels. They car­ried out on­line busi­ness con­ver­sa­tions and had face-to-face ne­go­ti­a­tions at the expo. At the same time, some Fin­nish, Nor­we­gian and Swiss en­ter­prises and ex­perts will carry out in­ves­ti­ga­tions in places ac­tive in the win­ter sports in­dus­try, such as Yan­qing and Zhangji­akou, and take into con­sid­er­a­tion fu­ture projects in those places, in­clud­ing tech­ni­cal co­op­er­a­tion and lo­cal pro­duc­tion.

Xu Zhou said, “We have some plans and ex­pec­ta­tions. You might have found that we dis­play some high moun­tain tech­nolo­gies and ski slope con­struc­tion plans. In fact, these as­pects can help to pro­duce great val­ues. Some Euro­pean and Amer­i­can en­ter­prises en­gaged in man­u­fac­tur­ing ca­ble cars and ar­ti­fi­cial snow ma­chines also take part in the WWSE, as they find po­ten­tial op­por­tu­ni­ties though China's fa­cil­i­ties for win­ter sports and Win­ter Olympics un­der con­struc­tion. The WWSE has cre­ated a pro­duc­tion value of about 10 bil­lion yuan through di­rect sales of these man­u­fac­tur­ers and the en­ter­prises that will set­tle down in China and start lo­cal pro­duc­tion.

Fu­ture De­vel­op­ment

As for the theme “Lead­ing the Way,” Jiang Xiaoyu, vice pres­i­dent of the Beijing Olympic City De­vel­op­ment As­so­ci­a­tion, said that the theme im­plies that the expo will lead China's win­ter sports in­dus­try in a good di­rec­tion.

Win­ter sports de­vel­oped late in China with a weak start. How­ever, the 2022 Win­ter Olympics is ex­pected usher in a golden op­por­tu­nity for China's win­ter sports in­dus­try. China also de­sires to take ad­van­tage of it and pro­mote its win­ter sports in­dus­try. An old Chi­nese say­ing goes: “Stones from other hills may serve to pol­ish the jade of this one.” China hopes to learn from those coun­tries which have been en­gaged in win­ter sports for over 100 years. There­fore, the WWSE 2017 in­vited ex­perts from the In­ter­na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tee, Switzer­land, the US, Swe­den and Nor­way to share their ex­pe­ri­ence, pro­vide ref­er­ence for China's win­ter sports in­dus­try, and give ad­vice on the 2022 Win­ter Olympics.

Though Europe and North Amer­ica have good foun­da­tion in de­vel­op­ing their win­ter sports in­dus­tries, Asia fea­tures just as much vi­tal­ity and pas­sion. A re­cent sport­ing event held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in­cluded short track speed skat­ing and fig­ure skat­ing, and at­tracted au­di­ences with ev­ery seat oc­cu­pied. In the mean­time, China also holds a va­ri­ety of games for win­ter sports.

Jan-jacquesde Dardel, chair­man of the In­ter­na­tional Skat­ing Union, said, “For me, China is the fu­ture of win­ter sports. There are 1.4 bil­lion peo­ple in China, along with so many op­por­tu­ni­ties. Europe and North Amer­ica will com­pete with China for the dom­i­nance of win­ter sports. I cher­ish many of the trea­sures left by the Win­ter Olympics. As to the 2014 Sochi Win­ter Olympics, the 2010 Van­cou­ver Win­ter Olympics and the 2006 Turin Win­ter Olympics, I look for­ward to the 2022 Beijing Win­ter Olympics and its trea­sures for win­ter sports.”

Sim­u­lated ski­ing at the World Win­ter Sports (Beijing) Expo 2017

A pro­mo­tion video for the 2022 Win­ter Olympics

Young skiers on a dry ski slope

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