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Winter Games bid gets boost from snowmobiling event

By Sun Xiaochen (chinadaily.com.cn)

Updated: 2015-04-15

Snowmobiling is playing an active role in popularizing winter sports in China with a major event to be staged next week.

The first leg of the National Snowmobile Championships' 2015-2016 season, takes place in Arxan city, North China's Inner Mongolia autonomous region from Tuesday as part of the campaign promoting Beijing's bid to host the 2022 Olympic Winter Games.

The leg, jointly organized by the State motor sports administration and China Tourism Automobile and Cruise Association (CTACA), will see riders race head-to-head on closed courses designed on natural snow terrains.

The event is part of a promotion which also includes a self-driving tour across five provinces and three autonomous regions to explore the snow wonderlands of North China while promoting Beijing's 2022 bid.

The road trip will start from Arxan on Thursday with amateurs selected by the CTACA covering a 13,000 km route over three months.

"Promotion for the Olympic bid should involve more winter sports other than those already included in the Olympic program. Beijing's bid aims to popularize winter sports among 300 million Chinese and snowmobiling should be part of it," said Lin Jie, deputy director of the motor sports administration.

Zhao Yinggang, vice-secretary general of the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games Bid Committee, echoed the sentiment.

"Snow sports are not only about skiing and snowboarding. Snowmobiling is also an exciting event as well as a daily transportation vehicle which enjoys high popularity in winter sports countries in the West," he said. "To host the race as well as the road trip along the snowline in North China will be a great promotion of winter sports to assist Beijing's bid".

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