Feature: Resumption of extreme sports spurs enthusiasm in NW China

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LANZHOU, China, June 24 (Xinhua) -- The wind ringing in his ears, Deng Bo slid down a hill near the Yellow River on a skateboard , and the people around the finish line began to applaud.

After three days of matches, Deng, a skateboarder from Xi'an, the capital city of Northwest China's Shaan'xi province, finished his competition at the Yellow River Stone Forest in Jingtai county, Gansu province.

Since the coronavirus epidemic eased in Northwest China, small-scale sport events have gradually resumed.

During the last three days, a downhill skateboarding race was held at the Yellow River Stone Forest of Jingtai county in Baiyin city. Over 80 skateboarders from throughout China joined the race.

All participants, including Deng, are from low-risk areas in China. Before arriving at the race spot, nucleic acid testing was done on the participants. After health workers test their body temperature, all skateboarders are allowed to enter the track.

"The scenery is very beautiful here. And the track is also very playable and safe. It's very exciting and cool to play," Deng said.

There are 22 curves at the Stone Forest with an over 200-meter drop. The bending angles of the curves can reach 180 degrees, and the slope is steep and sharp.

"This track is a really challenge. And I like it," Deng said.

The Stone forest nearby the Yellow River is a rarely-seen karst landscape, which has its own unique evolution process. About 2.1 million years ago, the Stone Forest was formed. Due to the movement of the earth's crust, wind movement, rain erosion and other geological processes, the stone pillars are mostly 80m to 100m, and some are over 200m.

It has been a tough year for skaters. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, World Skate canceled a series of skateboarding events.

But Deng still shows confidence in his skateboarding future. "As the epidemic eases, I believe that all the skateboarding events shall eventually continue," he said.

In 2016, the IOC Executive Board announced in Rio de Janeiro that five sports, including skateboarding, would be included in Tokyo 2020.

In its Olympic debut, skateboarding will contribute four golds to the Tokyo 2020 medal sets.

After 2017, the General Administration of Sport of China moved to establish a Chinese national skateboarding team.

Since the epidemic has eased, more and more sporting events have been held in China. The Chinese Athletics Association encouraged all regions to resume sporting competitions in a safe and orderly manner in this March.

"The downhill skateboarding race is an outdoor event held by our county in response to the work resumption. And the event has attracted lots of tourists these days, " said Zhang Wenling, head of Jingtai County.

Sports, tourism and other industries have gradually recovered since the COVID-19 outbreak in Baiyin city. During the May Day holiday, more than 660,000 tourists came to Baiyin city, spending more than 400 million yuan. Enditem

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