The first China Winter Sports Festival held in the Beijing Exhibition Centre brought snow and ice sports directly to the people. A large number of visitors enjoyed the multi-day event and had their first exposure to snow and ice sports. At outside and inside stands, visitors were able to get active and try all different winter sports: Cross-Country Skiing, Alpine Skiing, Snowboarding, Curling, Ice Skating and Biathlon with a laser rifle.
Well-educated coaches helped newcomers make their first steps on ice and snow, an experience that was so enjoyed that long queues formed at the different activities. The first China Winter Sports Festival far exceeded expectations and is a good starting point for a planned nationwide tour of the festival.
Ding Dong, Executive Deputy Director of the Winter Sports Management Centre of the State Sports General Administration stated: "The most valuable thing is that most of these audiences came spontaneously. It was a family-centred event bringing together grown-ups and children.”
Different from a traditional exhibition, the China Winter Sports Festivalused various forms of presentation to build an “ice and snow park” for the audience in the North Exhibition Outdoor Plaza and seven exhibition halls. In the outdoor pavilion, a small real ice rink provided skating training and on the artificial snow trail next to it, people were able to learn how to cross-country ski. The indoor exhibition area used high-tech artificial ice and dry snow to offer a real ice-skating experience as well as snowboarding, skiing, biathlon, ice hockey, curling, and ice hockey. The ancient Chinese ice and snow sports culture exhibition, ice and snow products exhibition and ice and snow theme film screening also give the audience a refreshing experience.
Ding Dong said that the original intention of the China Winter Sports Festivalwas to emphasise "interaction, participation, and experience", so that participants, especially children, could approach snow and ice and feel the happiness brought by it.
He continued: "We feel that the popularisation of snow and ice sports is still not at a sufficient level. There are certain limitations like a limited number of venues where people can participate in snow sports. Professional coaches and instructors are required. There is also a relatively high price for related equipment and equipment, which restricts participation. The China Winter Sports Festivalhelps to lower the threshold to participate in snow and ice sports and gets the people to feel the fun part of the sports fast."