Shanghai is stepping up efforts to become a winter sports hub.

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Shanghai's winter sports push snowballs

( China Daily ) 2021-12-23

Shanghai is stepping up efforts to become a winter sports hub.

Despite the city's almost complete lack of natural snow, the Shanghai stop of the FIS Cross-Country Skiing China City Tour took place last weekend, winning praise from athletes and coaches.

Organizers utilized cutting-edge snowmaking technology for the event, laying a 300-meter FIS-standard cross-country ski track along the Huangpu River in the city's Yangpu district.

Zhang Bei, the leader of China's national cross-country skiing team, heaped praise on the course.

"Cross-country skiing events are usually held in mountainous areas covered with forest," said Zhang. "To compete in a metropolis like Shanghai is just like a fairytale. On the waterfront of the Huangpu River, the combination of skiing and scenery is just unbelievable."

Chinese skier Chi Chunxue, who has qualified for the Winter Olympics, was also excited to compete by the riverside.

"It is the first time Shanghai has hosted a ski event of this kind. I am proud to be part of the first batch of participants," she said.

According to the 14th Five-Year Plan for Shanghai's sports development, the city will play a key role in promoting winter sports in southern and eastern China.

In addition to professional competitions, the city is also promoting and developing winter sports at grassroots level.

In December 2018, Shanghai launched winter sports projects on school campuses. There are now 40 Winter Olympic model schools and 73 schools with a winter sports focus in Shanghai.

Shanghai Jiading No 1 High School introduced ice hockey to the curriculum in 2019 and opened a 200 square-meter rink in 2020.

"Compared with other sports, ice hockey is more interesting and fresh to me, so I chose to learn it without any hesitation," said Li Yifei, a student at the school.

Shanghai Huangpu Luwan No 1 Central Elementary School cooperated with professional organizations to offer students winter sports courses, including skating, curling and snowboarding.

According to the Shanghai Sports Bureau, as of October 2021, the city has a total of 13 ice rinks, 34 indoor ski centers and three curling venues, with various winter sports venues across 13 districts.

"To better meet the demands of residents, Shanghai will continue to upgrade ice and snow venues and facilitate citizens' participation in winter sports," said Yan Jiadong, chairman of the Shanghai Ice &Snow Sports Association.



Shanghai Auto Expo Park

Completed in March 2006 and open to the public free of charge, the Shanghai Auto Expo Park sprawls across an area of 76.67 hectares.