China has opened Asia’s first year-round ski tunnel for cross-country skiers. The new Beishan ll-Weather Cross-Country Ski Resort in northeast China's Jilin Province features a 1,308-metre indoor ski run and a 1,616-metre outdoor ski run. The facility is reported to have cost 990 million yuan (148 million U.S. dollars) to construct.
The opening of the complex will enable Chinese athletes to practice cross-country skiing year-round, Liu Yijun, a snow sports official in the city of Jilin told media, adding that athletes from the Republic of Korea and Japan were also expected to use it for training this summer.
The facility will also be open to the public and is seen as another element in China’s aim to introduce 300 million new participants to snow sports in connection with the Beijing 2022 Olympics.
About 10 indoor snow tunnels for cross-country skiing have been built in Europe, mostly in Finland, Sweden, Germany and Slovenia with a combined downhill and cross-country ski centre currently under construction in Norway and due to open in January 2020.