XINING, China, Jan. 17 (Xinhua) -- Ever since Beijing and Zhangjiakou won the bid to jointly host the 2022 Winter Olympic Games, winter sports have become increasingly popular in China.
Along with the first snow, various kinds of winter activities are being carried out in northwest China' s Qinghai province.
On the first day of 2018, a climbing activity was held at the Climbing and Fitness Conference in Qinghai. The event was held in Menyuan Hui Autonomous County, attracting hundreds of climbers from all over China.
"I hope climbing for fitness will become a habit for all people," said Cai Rangtai, the director general of the Qinghai Sports Bureau.
"Compared with the experience in summer, riding in winter brings a different feeling to me. Resting at home is not the only choice for the old," said Wang Tie, who retired in 2013.
Conquering a snowy mountain has become a very appealing choice for outdoor sports enthusiasts.
Because of the average altitude of over 4,000 meters, Qinghai is blessed with abundant ice and snow in winter, making it an ideal destination for climbers.
Now, in many cities like Lhasa and Xining, several gyms are being built and are open to residents. This enables people to do different kinds of winter sports.
In rural areas, though the land and mountains are covered with thick snow, the locals still warm themselves by performing folk dances.
"People in remote areas have kept the custom of the folk dances, and they have their own ways of keeping fit in winter," said Fan Zhenqiang, the secretary in Tibet Autonomous Region Sports Bureau.
In addition to a growing passion for fitness, Qinghai is also responsible for conducting two annual international winter sports competitions, the Qinghai International Curling Competition and the Qinghai International Extreme Race of Winter Swimming across the Yellow River. These events help to brighten the cold winter in the Qinghai-Tibet plateau. The local government is making efforts to integrate sports and tourism in order to boost the sports industry in the Qinghai-Tibet plateau.
"Qinghai will keep tapping into its advantages in ice and snow resources and [we will keep] promoting winter sport to develop the local economy as well as enrich people's lives in winter," said Cai Rangtai.