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Students embrace winter sports buzz

China Daily | Updated: 2022-01-25 09:38
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YINCHUAN-With Beijing 2022 approaching, Pakistani student Nawaz Shah is being swept up in the growing enthusiasm for winter sports across China.

Shah, 29, hails from Malakand in northwest Pakistan, and is a third-year postgraduate student majoring in infectious diseases at Ningxia Medical University in Yinchuan, the capital of northwest China's Ningxia Hui autonomous region.

He was one of 27 international students to take part in a recent winter sports meet in the city, an event which ignited his passion for ice and snow activities.

"It was like flying. It was so much fun that I will never forget," said Shah, who also lauded China's efforts to engage 300 million people in winter sports.

"Now I know almost everything about Beijing 2022," he added. "I hope all the athletes focus on their sports and try their best. They can be the best of themselves."

During his 11-year stay in China, Shah has been to over 20 cities across the country. He visited Harbin Ice-Snow World, where he was impressed by the city's famous ice sculptures. He also traveled to southern China's Hainan province for a trip which he described as "entering warm spring after a three-hour flight in a down jacket".

"But I still love winter best. Just like my hometown, Yinchuan's winter is dry and cold," added Shah, who each year drives about 300 kilometers to enjoy winter sports at a large ski resort in southern Ningxia.

Muhammad Saad, 31, also from Pakistan, is studying for a postgraduate degree in orthopedic surgery at Ningxia Medical University.

Saad was previously not particularly interested in ice and snow activities, but all that changed after the recent winter sports meet in Yinchuan.

"It was the first time for me to take part in those games. I tried cycling on ice, ice sliding, ice boating and many others," said Saad. "It was fun, interesting and felt amazing. It's fast and we could feel the cold wind."

With Pakistani athletes set to compete at Beijing 2022, Saad will pay extra attention to the action.

"I wish all the Olympic athletes good luck in Beijing and hope they achieve good results and win gold medals. They are the best competitors from their countries and regions so I wish them the best of luck and hope they have the time of their lives in China," said Saad.

Shah also heaped praise on China's efforts to stage environmentally friendly Games.

"China advocated a low-carbon approach, and these measures are trickling down to everyday life. Local buses are powered by clean energy, and when I go outside, I always go by electric bike or walk," said Shah.

"China is trying its best for the Winter Olympics. Just check out the slogan 'Together for a shared future'-it connects the whole world and mankind, so most people will support it. We should make the world a great place for mankind, not just for one country."


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