China aims to encourage a staggering 300 million people to take part in winter sports as part of the ramp-up to 2022. The 300 million winter sports participants does not only refer to athletes, coaches and enthusiasts, but also includes audience members and volunteers.
In accordance with China's winter sports development plan, the total size of the national winter sports industry by 2020 will reach 600 billion yuan, skyrocketing to one trillion yuan by 2022. The 2022 Winter Olympics has put winter sports development on a fast track, with more public interest and government support.
Lin Xianpeng, vice president of the management school of the Beijing Sports University, believes that China's winter sports era has entered its so-called "Golden Twenties."
China has become an increasingly affluent society, and in recent years levels of per capita disposable income grew rapidly. Sport is likely to be a beneficiary of such a rise in disposable income levels.
Combining sports with education is another feature in Beijing's winter sports promotion efforts. The capital city has established 52 winter sports schools. Dean of the Magic Ski School Zhang Yan, who has focused on ski training in Beijing and Zhangjiakou for nearly ten years, already feels the benefits brought by Beijing 2022.
In anticipation of Beijing 2022, Zhangjiakou is transforming into a popular ski and holiday destination for ski enthusiasts from surrounding countries and regions.
Currently, there are six existing ski resorts in operation, making the city a leader in China's national ski industry. The Chongli district has a population of 126 thousand, among which 30 thousand people are working for the ski industry directly or indirectly.
To engage more fans from south of the Yangtze River, China's Winter Sports Administrative Center launched a long-term program of "moving ice sports from north to south," and Beijing 2022 is speeding that process up.
"China's southern region fully meets the requirements for winter sports promotion. America's figure skating star Michelle Wingshan Kwan is from Los Angeles. That city has the best training center in the world for ice hockey and figure skating. So region and temperature are not really problems for ice sports."
In China's northwestern regions, more and more families are also beginning to spend spare time on winter sports. The Xinjiang Sports Administration has taken measures to provide a better environment for people in the region to take part in winter sports. During the 2017 spring festival, tourist visits to the Silk Road Resort reached 42,000, a year-on-year increase of 30 percent.
Xinjiang has also been making efforts in winter sports infrastructure construction, with projects to build venues for ski jumping, cross-country skiing and freestyle skiing. Xinjiang is also planning to host a winter sports meeting for teenagers called Stars of the Future, in a bid to stimulate youngsters' interest in and passion for winter sports.