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Xi underlines boosting winter sports through tech innovations

Source: Xinhua Updated: 2021-01-21


President Xi Jinping inspects the National Ski Jumping Center in Zhangjiakou, north China's Hebei Province, Jan. 19, 2021. [Xinhua/Ju Peng]

President Xi Jinping called on China to take advantage of technological innovations to develop winter sports during an inspection tour in Beijing 2022 co-host city Zhangjiakou.

ZHANGJIAKOU -- President Xi Jinping has called on China to take advantage of technological innovations to develop winter sports in the country.

Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, made the remarks on Tuesday during an inspection tour in Zhangjiakou, the co-host city of Beijing 2022, to view preparation work for the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

Visiting the National Ski Jumping Center, Xi watched demonstration jumps by athletes and praised their performances.


President Xi Jinping extends greetings to athletes and coaches at the National Ski Jumping Center in Zhangjiakou, north China's Hebei Province, Jan. 19, 2021. [Xinhua/Wang Ye]

The coaching staff reported to Xi that an intelligent decision support system is used in training to capture key indicators, including takeoff angle, postures, speed and jump distance. The staff also noted that the wind tunnel lab enables much greater efficiency in training.

Acknowledging their application of technology, Xi emphasized that winter sports can only be developed through technological innovations, the same path the country has been taking to achieve a socialist modern China.

Xi underscored the importance of independent innovation and on drawing experience from cutting-edge technologies and training methods the world over.

"I believe, through our efforts, we will be able to achieve fruitful results at the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games next year," Xi said.

After arriving at Taizicheng station on the Beijing-Zhangjiakou high-speed rail line, Xi visited the athletes' service hall and observed exhibits including a rail network map of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, the sketch map and sand table of the Olympic competition zone and the Beijing-Zhangjiakou high-speed rail link.


A Fuxing high-speed train runs through the Juyongguan Tunnel on the Beijing-Zhangjiakou high-speed rail line. [Xinhua/Ju Huanzong]

High-speed rail is a successful demonstration of China's independent innovation, he said.

Xi stressed that China's high-speed rail network has undergone a process from introduction, digestion, absorption and re-innovation to independent innovation, adding that the country is now a world leader in high-speed rail technology.

Xi emphasized the importance of continuing to strive for greater development in the 14th Five-Year Plan period from 2021 to 2025.

The Beijing-Zhangjiakou high-speed rail went into operation on December 30, 2019, slashing the travel time between the host cities of Beijing 2022 to less than one hour.

Xi stressed the significance of the line at the moment it became operational, saying that it marked new progress in the preparations for the Winter Olympics and that other related work should follow the same high standards.

"The Beijing-Zhangjiakou railway line bears witness to the development of Chinese rail as well as leaps in China's comprehensive strength," Xi said.

Looking back at history, the new line carries even greater significance, Xi added.

The total length of high-speed rail lines in China ran to 37,900 km by the end of 2020, an increase of 2,900 km from 2019 and almost double the amount in 2015, according to the China State Railway Group.


An aerial photo taken on Jan. 19, 2021, shows the National Sliding Center in Yanqing District, Beijing. [Xinhua/Zhang Chenlin]

Despite the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, all competition venues were completed by the end of 2020, marking an important milestone in pre-Games preparations.

Xi pointed out that the smooth preparation work is an excellent manifestation of China's institutional strengths.

Xi also spoke to China's national biathlon and ski jumping team athletes, coaches and representatives of operation teams and construction staff in the Zhangjiakou competition zone.

"Let's go, Chinese winter sports," attendees chanted in unison as Xi visited the National Biathlon Center.