Beijing 2022's influence endures in summer

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Kids have been flocking to indoor venues this summer to enjoy skating sports. XINHUA

The enduring influence of Beijing 2022 can be seen in China's enthusiasm for winter sports this summer.

With temperatures soaring over 30 Celsius in Harbin in Northeast China's Heilongjiang province, Tian Rui's 5-year-old daughter can still enjoy figure skating at an air-dome rink that spans 1,800 square meters and also meets the demands of ice hockey and speed skating.

"My daughter comes here every week to learn figure skating," Tian said.

The air-dome rink is operated by Harbin Ming Jiang Ice Sports Center. "After the Beijing Winter Olympics, the number of students here has increased significantly. Now, there are more than 1,000 students," said Meng Qingyou, a coach at the center.

Harbin boasts many air-dome ice rinks, which are located in various areas across the city to provide training areas for local children and teenagers.

During this summer vacation, free parking spaces are hard to come by in the lots at the air-dome ice rinks, with parents flocking to the centers keen for their kids to expend their energy in a cool environment.

In addition to skating, the BONSKI indoor ski resort in Harbin is also very popular this summer. It features eight ski slopes of varying gradients. The highest vertical drop is 80 meters, with the slope capable of accommodating thousands of skiers simultaneously.

"The temperature on the snow field is kept at minus-5 Celsius, providing good conditions to ski all year round," said Guan Liang, general manager of the resort.

In Beijing, the renovated Capital Indoor Stadium, which hosted short-track speed skating and figure skating at this year's Winter Olympics, has officially opened to the public, attracting many people to participate in ice sports.

In Qiqihar, Heilongjiang province, the recently concluded Ice Hockey Invitational Tournament attracted 80 teams, with 192 games played over eight days.

The tournament's webcast also attracted millions of views.

"I watch games in the arena in summer, escape the heat and enjoy winter sports," said local man Fan Guoqiang.

The success of Beijing 2022 has ignited the enthusiasm of Chinese people to participate in winter sports and provided a historic opportunity for developing the ice and snow industry.

After Beijing 2022, the government departments of Heilongjiang province issued two documents to support the development of winter sports and the ice and snow sports industry.

Harbin is famous for its Ice and Snow World, with workers currently building indoor facilities that will allow people to see the winter tourist attraction's magical light-infused sculptures during the summer.

"After the project is completed, it is expected that the annual number of tourists will reach four million," said Guo Hongwei, chairman of Harbin Ice and Snow World Co. Ltd.

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