Sat, 23 Sep 2023

by Xinhua writers Huang Xinxin, Si Xiaoshuai, Shao Meiqi

CHANGCHUN, March 31 (Xinhua) -- Having engaged in skiing for nearly 30 years, Max Blouin from Canada has spent a busy ski season in China this year.

As a ski instructor at Beidahu Ski Resort in northeast China's Jilin Province, Blouin first came to work in China in 2018. Being a veteran snowboard skier, his daily routines include teaching beginners, giving freestyle skiing lessons, and training other Chinese ski instructors.

During the past winter, the first ski season after China hosted the Beijing Winter Olympics, Blouin usually began his work at 8:30 a.m. and spent all day on the gleaming snow slopes with a massive influx of ski lovers coming to the resort.

"I saw there are more and more people coming to this sport. China is a new market. It will boom within the next few years. That's why I'm here," said Blouin, who also learned Chinese to better communicate with students at ski classes.

© Provided by Xinhua

More than 300 million people have engaged in winter sports in China thanks to the Olympic Winter Games. One year on, the ice-and-snow sports fever has not faded away.

With mass participation in winter sports, many ski resorts have upgraded their facilities while strengthening international exchanges in resort construction, operation services, ski training, and other aspects and employing international experts to cooperate in China.

"We built six new terrain parks this year, and we hired a professional team from New Zealand to plan, design, construct, and operate the parks and to cooperate in ski training," said Dong Dong, head of Beidahu Ski Resort's marketing department.

With profound effects on Chinese people's way of life and the economy, the ice-and-snow industry is drawing more investment. The popularity of ice-and-snow sports has strongly promoted the development of related industries such as winter sports gear manufacturing, tourism and services, and sports training.

© Provided by Xinhua

In the past five years, the Canadian professional instructor has witnessed big changes at the resort. "I've seen the mountain piste grow and expand during these five seasons. And I know in the next three to five years, there will be even more changes," Blouin said.

According to a recent report by the Beijing 2022 Organizing Committee, the market value of China's winter sports industry is expected to surpass one trillion yuan (about 145.8 billion U.S. dollars) in 2025. The huge market potential has attracted many professionals worldwide to get involved, like Blouin.

Hamish Barker, from New Zealand, came to the resort to be a ski instructor during the 2022-23 ski season.

With a group of snowboarders interested in riding the park, Barker described his coaching life in China as "quite busy." Every day he would take the students out, assist their ski abilities and help them create a training plan for the rest of the day.

"After the Olympic Games season, everybody wants to get on snow and learn a little more. So it's good for the industry. Many people are also coming to those freestyle ski lessons. It's changing the culture of what's happening here," said Barker.

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