Sports / China

Winter Sports Expo opens in Beijing

By Liang Shuang ( Updated: 2016-10-19 19:34

By The World Winter Sports Expo made debuted at the China National Convention Center on Wednesday, starting a six-year plan to become one of the greatest of its kind worldwide.

Themed "opening the future", the exposition fulfills the promise made to the International Olympic Committee when Beijing bid for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games.

The expo features four sections, including Winter sports, Sportsstyle, Events and Culture, and Interaction Experience. More than 200 exhibitors participated at the event, bringing more than 400 brands to a 500-square-meter ice rink.

"Winter sports combine both tradition and innovation," said Risto Nieminen, president of the Finnish Olympic Committee. "We have traditional winter sports that are successful, but we also have new sports such as freestyle snowboarding, which attract the youngsters greatly."

A forum is also being held during the event, with presidents from winter sports associations joining the panel to discuss the promotion of winter sports in China and worldwide, including biathlon, curling, bobsleigh and skeleton events.

Experts regard the expo as an opportunity to develop the winter sport industry, which is still in its early stage in China, according to Xiong Xiaoge, executive vice president of the International Data Group, a co-host of the event.

"This is an opportunity and challenge for cultivating professional service providers of winter sports," said Yang Yang, China's first Winter Olympic gold medalist.

Beijing won the bid for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in 2015, making it the first city to hold both the Summer and Winter Olympics. China aims to have 300 million people participating in winter sports by the time Beijing hosts the Winter Olympics in 2022.

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