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No business like snow business

Updated: 2022-02-11 08:05 ( China Daily )
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Youngsters sample the delights of skating at Ice Live, an outdoor rink which was set up next to the city's landmark Oriental Pearl TV Tower. It opened to the public on Jan 18 and runs for the duration of the Winter Games.[Photo by Gao Erqiang/China Daily]

Interest in winter sports is growing with millions of residents participating last year and various venues have been busy reaping the benefits, Xing Yi reports.

Shanghai rarely sees snow but the enthusiasm for "cool sports" in the city is nevertheless growing due to the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing and Zhangjiakou in Hebei province, and the efforts of local authorities to promote them.

In the city's Lujiazui financial area, an open-air ice rink located next to the landmark Oriental Pearl TV Tower has been welcoming hordes of visitors since 2019. The rink is the brainchild of Yang Yang, a retired speed skater who won China's first Winter Olympics gold medal in 2002.

"I remember when the rink first opened in 2019, people were so amazed that many would wait hours to get on the ice," says Yang.

"I practiced skating outdoors when I was young, so this open-air ice rink brings back many memories. The Winter Olympics will become a fond memory for this generation of Chinese, so I founded this ice rink to let more people in this city experience the charm of winter sports," she adds.

Called Ice Live, the rink opened this year on Jan 18 and will be available throughout the Winter Games, which runs from Feb 4 to Feb 20.

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