Feature: Winter sports spur youth enthusiasm in NW China

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, January 16, 2021
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LANZHOU, Jan. 16 (Xinhua) -- To the surprise of Li Zhigang, who runs a company in Baiyin City of Northwest China's Gansu Province, most of his staff chose a ski trip for team building.

"Most of the staff in my company are under 30, and they all love winter sports," said the 34-year-old Li, who took his employees to the Yellow River Stone Forest resort.

As the Beijing 2022 Olympic Games approach, more and more young people in Northwest China have fallen in love with winter sports.

Zhang Tao, 28, is a ski instructor at the Yellow River Stone Forest resort. He found he became busier this season as more people chose to learn to ski by hiring instructors.

"I started skiing nine years ago when I was a college student in Xi'an," said Zhang, who was born in Lanzhou. "I became a ski instructor in Xi'an after graduation without hesitation," he added.

Zhang chose to go back to Baiyin and continued his career after 2018.

Due to the impact of the pandemic, the Yellow River Stone Forest resort suffered heavy losses last season as the resort had to shut down.

According to Gou Faxia, manager of the resort, business went well this winter and it could receive over 1,000 skiers and snowboarders every weekend since January.

"In 2019, nearly 10,000 skiers came to my resort to enjoy winter sports. After 2020, I am still confident in northwest China's winter sports industry," said Gou, who believed that the impact of the pandemic would be temporary.

"As the Beijing Olympic Games nears, the business will be better in 2021," said the optimistic Gou.

A statistic released last December by China's Renmin University shows that about 150 million people in China have participated in winter sports from 2019 to 2020.

Wang Zhanzhi, a student from Baiyin No. 6 Middle School, skied well at the resort. And he also instructed his two friends to improve their skills.

"Last winter I learned skiing, and I love skiing," Wang said, adding that he will ask his parents to take him to watch the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. Enditem

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