Ski festival heats up in Changchun

2020-12-31 12:06:00

Cross-country skiers take to the tracks at the Changchun Jingyuetan National Forest Park for the Vasaloppet China 2021. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn] The annual Vasaloppet China Changchun Jingyuetan International Ski Festival in Changchun, capital city of Northeast China's Jilin province, has become a driving force in the development of the regional ice and snow industry. The Vasaloppet China 2021, held on the tracks of the Changchun Jingyuetan National Forest Park in Changchun Jingyue High-tech Industrial Development Zone on Dec 29, attracted more than 500 participants. Among the participants, members from the national cross-country ski team and foreign ski enthusiasts living in China joined in on the fun. Li Hongxue, a veteran skier who claimed first place at the 2004 Vasaloppet China in the 50-kilometer Worldloppet Race, and Wu Yanlong, who finished the Vasaloppet Sweden 90-km course in 2018, took part in the event. Six skiing competitions, including the 50-km FIS Worldloppet Cup, the 50-km Worldloppet Race, a 25-km race for Chinese university students and a 25-km cross-country skiing race for members of the public, were held. Cross-country skiers take to the tracks at the Changchun Jingyuetan National Forest Park for the Vasaloppet China 2021. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn] Representatives from organizations such as the International Ski Federation, Vasaloppet Sweden and Vasaloppet United States participated in the races online on Tuesday. This year, a virtual event named Vasaloppet China Home Edition 2021 was introduced for skiers that cannot travel to China this winter. Skiers can choose from three different distances and whether to run, use skis, bikes or roller skis. The online races will be available until Jan 31,2021. A lucky draw among all the participants will offer vouchers for free registration in the Vasaloppet China 2022 and prizes provided by the event's suppliers and sponsors, organizers said. Initiated in 1922 in Sweden, Vasaloppet is one of the oldest and most influential skiing events in the world. The first Chinese Vasaloppet was held in Changchun in 2003, making China the fourth country in the world to host the event after Sweden, the United States and Japan. Cross-country skiers take to the tracks at the Changchun Jingyuetan National Forest Park for the Vasaloppet China 2021. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn] Staged in Changchun for 19 snow seasons, the event has developed into a landmark ice and snow-centered festival that not only benefits the regional economy but also China's skiing industry. The Vasaloppet China has also boosted Changchun's presence as a global winter sports destination. The 7th National Public Ice and Snow Season, formed by a raft of winter activities such as an ice and snow automobile rally and ice hockey also kicked off on Tuesday.