BEIJING, Jan. 2 (Xinhua) -- Standing in front of the colorful waterfall on the Gongshika snow peak in Qinghai province, which lies 4,000 meters above the sea level, after several hours' climbing, Geng Ru believed that there was no better way for her to start the new year.
The 27-year-old outdoor enthusiast was participating in the annual national-wide fitness program - New Year Mountaineering and Body Building - which was organized by sports bureaus across the whole country on the same day. Since the first edition in 1996, this event has become a significant sports activity in China and has attracted millions of people in the past 20 years.
"I have arrived at the Gongshika snow peak, I feel that it is of great significance for me to mountaineer on the first day of the new year and eventually come here," Geng wrote on the social media, "I was shocked when I came here, I like climbing mountains because it's a good sport and also help us to understand the nature."
In Geng's home city Xining, there was another sports event held on the New Year's Day. The 44th edition of the Tour of Xining running event attracted about 10,000 runners, ranging from seven years old to 80, to kick off the new year.
It was the fifth time for the 68-year-old Zhang Zengru to take part in the event. He said he was getting older and older but he felt he was still young thanks to running.
What happened in Xining was just an epitome of the popularity of sports in China. With the rapid development of economy, many Chinese people have already realized the importance of healthy lifestyles and participating in all kinds of sports activities has become a fashion in the country.
In China's most famous metropolis Shanghai, over 60,000 citizens came out to play their sports in the riverside area which featured many walking trails and cycle routes.
"I really enjoy exercising here. The government offered good facilities and the cityscape is really beautiful. I wish all my family members and friends be healthy in the new year, so I decided to start the year by a healthy lifestyle (running)," said Wu Dingyi, who took part in a family run activity together with his granddaughter.
In northern China's Changchun city, thousands of citizens began the new year by doing winter sports such as skating, ice hockey, and even swimming in icy water.
The 56-year-old Tian Lin, a local sports fan, said that sports could lead to a positive attitude towards life. "I hope I can have a better year in 2018," he said.
This is what happens in China as more and more people have realized the significance of sports and make sports part of their daily lives.