Sports / China

Star figure skaters launch app to promote sport

By Sun Xiaochen ( Updated: 2016-03-24 18:47

Star figure skaters launch app to promote sport

World champion figure skater Tong Jian, who retired last year, presents a mobile app, iSkating, developed by his company, Yixiang Ice and Snow, in Beijing on Thursday. The app was created to promote ice skating in advance of the 2022 Winter Olympics. [Photo by Sun Xiaochen/]

A world champion figure skating pair on Thursday launched a mobile app to promote ice skating in advance of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games.

Retired skating partners Pang Qing and Tong Jian developed the app, iSkating, or Aihuabing in Chinese, to address a lack of information about facilities and coaching that boosters say has hindered China's bid to push winter sports on a bigger scale.

Developed in cooperation with an IT crew, the app offers news updates on international events, a search function for public skating rinks and online figure skating instruction via video.

Skating fans can also use the app to book rinks for practice and sign up for coaching sessions guided by Pang and Tong at selected rinks.

"The ambition to promote winter sports participation en route to hosting the 2022 Winter Olympics is inspiring, but providing qualified service, facilities and technical guidance should be considered first," said Tong, who teamed with Pang to win the 2010 World Championships in Italy.

Inspired by President Xi Jinping's call, the Beijing 2022 organizing committee has created an ambitious plan to involve 300 million Chinese people in winter sports over the next six years.

"We expect the app could help more people embrace figure skating and winter sports in general as a healthy lifestyle," Tong said.

China's Winter Sports Administration Center also offered support to Pang and Tong, who announced their romance after winning a silver medal at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, by filming a series of figure skating teaching videos for the app that are performed by its affiliated athletes.

"Their commitment to promote the sport even after retirement is really motivating. As the event governing body, we definitely will provide full support to their initiative," Ren Hongguo, Party chief of the center, said at the ceremony on Thursday.

Pang and Tong retired from competitive skating last year.

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