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Yearender: China forges ahead to become sporting powerhouse

Pub Date:22-12-27 09:33 Source:Xinhua

Peng Cheng (L) and Jin Yang of China perform during the figure skating team event pairs free skating at Capital Indoor Stadium in Beijing, capital of China, Feb. 7, 2022. (Xinhua/Ju Huanzong)

With achievements and improvements in both international competitions and mass fitness in the past year, China is on its way to becoming a sporting powerhouse.

BEIJING, Dec. 26 (Xinhua) -- Throughout 2022, Chinese athletes have achieved not only new heights at the Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games but also made impressive performances in many other international competitions.

Supported by the national strategy, more and more training venues and facilities were in place, while statistics showed that over 400 million Chinese people were involved in sports activities on a regular basis to embrace a healthy life. Now, China is on its way to becoming a sporting powerhouse.


At Beijing 2022, Chinese athletes clinched nine gold, four silver and two bronze medals, while at the Winter Paralympics, China was ranked first in the medal tally with 18 golds, 20 silvers and 23 bronzes. The Games witnessed the nation's best-ever performance in its winter sports history.

Ren Ziwei of China celebrates after the men's 1000m final of short track speed skating at Capital Indoor Stadium in Beijing, capital of China, Feb. 7, 2022. (Xinhua/Ju Huanzong)

"With the truly exceptional Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games, we welcome China as a winter sports country," International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach noted at the Beijing Olympic Winter Games closing ceremony on February 20.

When Beijing was awarded the right to host the 2022 Games in 2015, about one-third of the events were still new to Chinese athletes. In just several years, the all-rounded development of China's winter sports showed competitiveness at the Olympic stage, which inspired millions of Chinese people to enjoy winter sports.

Since November this year, ski resorts in north China have opened to the public, which attracted skiers from all over the nation. Xiao Yani, who lives in Nanjing, the capital of east China's Jiangsu Province, recently led local skiers to practice at the Beidahu Ski Resort in Jilin City, northeast China's Jilin Province.

Skiers enjoy the sport at Miaoxiang Mountain Ski Resort in Changchun, capital of northeast China's Jilin Province, Nov. 11, 2022. The 2022-2023 ski season of Jilin began here on Friday. (Xinhua/Xu Chang)

"I learned skiing about three years ago. Now, it has become a part of my life," Xiao said. "This is the first skiing season after the Winter Olympics. An increasing number of people are passionate about skiing, skating and many other winter events."


In addition to winter sports, Chinese athletes were also highly recognized in other sporting fields. China maintained its position in its key competitive events, including table tennis, swimming and weightlifting, while athletes also broke new ground this year.

In February, China defeated Japan in a penalty shootout in the AFC Women's Asian Cup semifinals and rallied back from 0-2 down to beat South Korea 3-2 in the final to win the championship. The Chinese women's football players once again impressed the world with their perseverance.

Wang Jianan of China competes during the men's long jump final at the World Athletics Championships Oregon22 in Eugene, Oregon, the United States, July 16, 2022. (Xinhua/Wu Xiaoling)

Wang Jianan stunned the field in July to grab China's first-ever long jump gold medal at the World Athletics Championships in Oregon, the United States, with a gold-winning 8.36m to beat reigning Olympic champion Miltiadis Tentoglou of Greece. "I just want to train hard and do my best," he said.

At the semifinal of the FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup on September 30, Wang Siyu made a pair of free throws with 3.4 seconds remaining to put China two points ahead and seal the victory in the end. Despite the loss in the final, the Chinese team still equaled its best record at the quadrennial tournament.

According to official statistics, the per capita sporting area of Chinese people reached 2.41 square meters. Across the nation, the rapid development of sports facilities and wide public participation laid a solid foundation for the growth of China's sporting strength.


In 2022, China achieved the goal of engaging 300 million people in winter sports and presented a streamlined, safe and splendid Games. The Beijing 2022 motto, "Together for a Shared Future," was not just an invitation to the world but a commitment to future-oriented development.

After the Games, the Olympic venues became popular destinations for tourists, which included the National Speed Skating Oval, also known as the "Ice Ribbon," the National Alpine Skiing Center in the Yanqing Olympic Zone, and the Genting Snow Park in Zhangjiakou, north China's Hebei Province.

People visit the National Speed Skating Oval in Beijing, capital of China, after it opened to the public on July 9, 2022. (Xinhua/Ju Huanzong)

Juan Antonio Samaranch Jr., Chairman of the IOC Coordination Commission for Beijing 2022, spoke highly of China's efforts to make more people get involved in winter sports and achieve sustainable development in terms of venue reuse, carbon neutrality and water utilization at an IOC Executive Board meeting early December.

The Olympics further accelerated China's steps toward a sporting powerhouse. China carried out plans in March to build a higher level of public service system for sports and fitness. In June, a revision to the country's sports law was passed in a bid to facilitate China's efforts to build itself into a country strong on sports.

"These people-centered plans and revised sports law provided a legal guarantee for a major sports country in the long run, leading the Chinese society to a healthy life," said Jiang Shibo, professor at the School of Law, Shandong University.


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