Snowboarding surging in China as Beijing 2022 approaches

(Xinhua) 09:52, January 20, 2022

HAIKOU, Jan. 19 (Xinhua) -- Wang Xuefeng is obsessed with snowboarding, and learned how to change edges this winter.

"When I learned to change edges during snowboarding, it became a more amazing experience. My favorite skill of snowboarding is changing edges. Every time I accomplish it, I feel fulfilled," said the 29-year-old from south China's Hainan Province.

Changing edge is a basic skill of snowboarding, which means transferring from the heel edge onto the toe edge in one fluid motion when carving on the snowboard. After learning the technique, it is possible to slide in a zigzag on the slopes.

Recently, Wang invited two of her friends to snowboard at Songhua Lake in northeast China's Jilin Province.

Before her trip, Wang bought snowboarding gear and enrolled in a training course at an indoor venue in Hainan to practisee changing edges. Even though she suffered a lot of falls, she kept at it.

"It was unexpected that I made progress on real snow on the first day in Jilin. I went at night with the temperature below 10 degrees Celsius and boarded along to music. I felt terrific!" Wang said.

When Wang learned snowboarding techniques at an indoor slope, she often fell down because of the limited space and the low gradient. The real ski resort was much more spacious and suitable to practise changing edges, she recalled.

"Crazy and hectic" is how they conclude their snowboarding trip. "We had a five-day snowboarding journey. We woke up at 7am every day and kept practising till 5pm, except for lunch. If we were still energetic, we kept boarding until night," said Wang and her friends.

Thanks to the Beijing Winter Olympics, people residing in warmer regions of China have started to participate in winter sports.

Now, China's commitment to engage 300 million people in winter sports has already become a reality. During the New Year holidays, millions of people participated in winter sports, even in southern Chinese regions. Data showed that hotel bookings near ski resorts have more than doubled in provinces like Sichuan and Jilin.

"Lake Songhua Resort has received 20,000 tourists, up 33 percent year on year, and has taken tourism revenue of 12.8 million yuan (2 million U.S. dollars), up 50 percent year-on-year. Our hotel occupancy was over 70 percent," according to Huang Zhongrui, head of marketing at the resort.

Wang and her friends are looking forward to the Winter Olympics. "I will watch the Olympics at home, especially the freestyle and snowboarding events. I hope Eileen Gu has a great performance and wins more medals for Team China," Wang said.

(Web editor: Xia Peiyao, Liang Jun)


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