BEIJING, April 14, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Qitaihe, a city located in northeast China’s Heilongjiang Province and known for booming short-track speed skating, recently set up a foundation to boost development of short-track speed skating amid efforts to turn ice-and-snow sports into a driving force for economic growth.
The fund of the foundation, which is the first of its kind in Heilongjiang, will be used to reward coaches and athletes, train talents, and expand competitive ice-and-snow sports projects.
With four months’ temperature below minus 20 degrees Celsius in a year, Qitaihe boasts unique natural conditions for engaging in various ice sports.
The city currently has 11 schools featuring short-track speed skating, and 18 short-track speed skating teams consisting of 20-odd coaches and more than 500 athletes, making it one of the Chinese cities with the largest talent pool for short-track speed skating.
More than 300 athletes from Qitaihe have been recruited by national and provincial teams for the six major sports such as speed skating, ski jumping, and snowboarding. Several of the athletes who had trained in the city later became world champions, including Yang Yang, Wang Meng, Sun Linlin and Fan Kexin.
Qitaihe athletes have won 177 gold medals in world-level competitions and 541 golds in national-level competitions, breaking world records for 16 times. In 2022, the Chinese Olympic Committee awarded the “City of Olympic Champions” to Qitaihe.
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