Ice skating enriches people's lives during long winter in NW China's Ningxia
YINCHUAN, Jan.11 (Xinhua) -- Although the temperature outdoors is well below zero, Yu Wei, who is in his 60's, still takes his four-year-old granddaughter to the Haibao Park skating rink in Yinchuan, capital city of northwest China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region.
"I made this skating chair by myself two years ago. Since then, I would take her out for skating whenever the weather is not that cold," said Yu, with his granddaughter sitting on the chair and looking around curiously.
Yu explained that he was a big fan of ice skating when he was a child. At that time, there was nothing to do but skate in winter.
The long winter and the lower annual mean temperature here gives Ningxia abundant ice resources. The Haibao Park skating rink is a lake in other seasons, but now it is a skating rink.
Beside Yu and his granddaughter, there were around 200 people here skating by all kinds of tools, like chairs with ice skate blades, tricycles, tandem bicycle and even dodgem cars.
Some parents took their children, while others brought along their elderly parents to skate. And some others are just walking or spinning tops on the ice.
"Be quicker, Mom," six-year-old Zhang Yuxin shouted to her mother, who was pushing the skating chair for her. "It's so much fun."
The young mother in her 30's said it spent her 30 RMB (about 4.6 U.S. dollars) renting the skating chair for one hour. "Playing in the nature is much better than watching TV at home," she said.
An increasing number of people and cities in China are starting to participate in winter sports, as the country is on track to engage more of its people in winter sports ahead of Beijing 2022.
A staff member who works in the parking lot of Haibao Park skating rink said that there were 80 parking spaces, and since the opening of the skating rink they were all full between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
"It's hard to find a parking space at weekend or during the holiday," she added.
On Jan. 1, an activity featuring ice and snow sports started in Yinchuan, aiming to attract more people to winter sports.
"Nowadays, more and more people have realized the importance of sports. Ice skating not only enriches our winter life but also improves our health," Yu said.