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Heilongjiang: Cradle of winter sports champions

Updated : 2022-02-18

By ( e.my399.com )

Heilongjiang province, situated in China's northernmost region, is widely said to have made significant contributions to the country's development of its winter sports, especially in the short track speed skating event.
Short track speed skating is regarded as being China's traditional strength in the Winter Olympics.
Before the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, star athletes had won 13 gold medals at previous Winter Olympics – 10 of which came from the short track speed skating event, with a gold medal ratio of nearly 80 percent.
As a result, Heilongjiang is known as the "Cradle of Champions" for winter sports in China and to date, it has been home to more than 30 world champions.
In the short track speed skating category where China won first gold at Beijing 2022, men and women in the mixed team relay – Fan Kexin, Wu Dajing, Ren Ziwei, Qu Chunyu and Zhang Yuting – all hail from Heilongjiang.
Harbin, its provincial capital, has sent a large number of its top athletes to the national team.
In this Winter Olympics alone, 41 athletes from Harbin have participated in events. Harbin short track speed skaters Ren Ziwei and Zhang Yuting reportedly shot to fame on social media after their competitions.
Harbin has a long history of developing winter sports and holding such events.
In 1953, the first National Ice Games were held in Harbin and the city has been leading the upsurge in winter sports ever since.
In 2015, after Beijing successfully won the right to host the 2022 Winter Olympics, Harbin further increased its investment in ice and snow projects.
In order to make things much more convenient for members of the public to participate in winter sports, a number of venues, such as mobile skating rinks, curling rinks and cross-country skiing venues, have been built.
Of these, the air-film ice rinks across the city are said to have particularly benefited children who are learning short track speed skating.
Two Winter Olympics-themed TV series called Beyond and The Name of Ice and Snow that were filmed in Harbin recently – about several generations of winter sports athletes there – quickly became hits.