As Winter Olympic Games fever grips the country, Beijing, a co-host of the event, is sparking interest in winter sports among residents with an ongoing ice and snow carnival.
The event comprises ice and snow leisure activities and Olympic-themed exhibitions. Of the parks participating in the event, Taoranting, Zizhuyuan, Yuyuantan and the Summer Palace had already launched winter leisure and sports activities. Beihai Park is preparing to open its winter leisure activity areas.
Together, the five parks will open seven sites for ice activities and four for snow ones. The 11 sites cover a total of 600,000 square meters and will accommodate more than 40 winter leisure activities, said Zhang Yahong, deputy director of the Beijing Administration Center of Parks.
The games include curling, cycling on the icy surface, ice slides, snowmobiles, learning about animals from polar regions, and mazes made of ice and snow.
Of the exhibitions, a show being held at Beihai Park introduces century-old bingxi, or ice games, to visitors. The show will last until April 13.
The Beijing Administration Center of Parks is cooperating with the Beijing Olympic City Development Center to launch an Olympic culture exhibition across 11 historic gardens and parks, Zhang said.
The move aims to showcase the history of traditional Chinese winter games, popularize Winter Games knowledge and increase the public's awareness of Olympic culture, she noted.
Since its inception in 2014, the annual event with the theme of promoting ice and snow sports in parks and greeting the Winter Olympics with fun physical exercise, has attracted nearly 2 million participants, organizers said.
"This year, we'll further tighten safety measures, keeping a close eye on weather conditions and measuring ice thickness on a daily basis to ensure safety requirements have been met," Zhang said.
In addition, the ice and snow activity areas in the parks are equipped with a plenty of disinfection supplies and emergency rescue facilities, she added.