Olympics: Ice, snow sports to at­tract more

China Daily (Canada) - - XI’S VISIT -

China will seize the op­por­tu­nity of the Win­ter Olympics to pro­mote sports and im­prove health among the gen­eral public, Xi said, adding that host­ing such an event will also push for­ward the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive, which he pro­posed in 2013.

As high­lighted in Bei­jing’s bid­ding plan, the coun­try is rolling out a na­tional cam­paign to en­cour­age 300 mil­lion peo­ple to par­tic­i­pate in win­ter sports by 2022.

The call has in­spired greater in­vest­ment in the win­ter re­cre­ation sec­tor, which has seen 108 ski re­sorts built since Bei­jing won the bid­ding to be host for the Win­ter Games.

In win­ter 2015, the num­ber of peo­ple­whopar­tic­i­pated in win­ter sports in­creased by 30 per­cent year-on-year in Bei­jing and Zhangji­akou, reach­ing 6.8 mil­lion.

The coun­try aims to build 650 skating rinks and 800 ski re­sorts by 2022, lay­ing the foun­da­tion for the win­ter sports in­dus­try to gen­er­ate 1 tril­lion yuan ($146 bil­lion) by 2025 in gross rev­enue, in­clud­ing spend­ing at venues, equip­ment pro­duc­tion and train­ing fees.

IOC Pres­i­dent Bach wel­comed Xi’s visit, say­ing the com­mit­tee will work to­gether with Bei­jing to en­sure an ex­cel­lent Win­ter Olympics.

Xi and first lady Peng Liyuan also vis­ited the OlympicMu­seum af­ter meet­ing with Bach.

Con­tact the writ­ers at an­bai­jie@chinadaily.com.cn and leilei@chinadaily.com.cn

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