Traditional ski game held in northwest China's Altay

Source: Xinhua| 2018-01-17 18:43:10|Editor: Zhou Xin
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URUMQI, Jan. 17 (Xinhua) -- A traditional ski competition was held Tuesday in northwest China's Altay, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, to celebrate an ice festival in the region.

Located in the northernmost areas of Xinjiang, Altay is rich in ice and snow. The area has a long history of skiing as it is a necessary skill for people living in this region.

A rock painting believed to be from 12,000 years ago was found in Altay in 2005, depicting ancient hunters skiing.

The competition this year drew a large audience to watch the sports, including an individual cross-country race and a team relay race.

"My parents used to go ski hunting, and I have went skiing with my friends since I was little, " said Malqin, team leader of the Xinjiang International Ancient Ski Team. His team won the first place in the relay race.

Ramhan Ramden came to watch the game from his town 60 kilometers away. "Ten people from our town were in the games, but every one in our town can ski," he said

"Many experts from home and abroad came to Altay recently to research the skiing here," said Shan Yaojian, China's first national ski champion, and former official of the National Sports Commission.

Shan has been a skier for 50 years and spent 24 years researching Altay. He believes the area has huge potential.

In 2017, Altay received 15.9 million tourists.