National fitness gala in NW China attracts 20,000 participants
By sportswriters Yao Youming and Zheng Xin
XI'AN, Aug. 8 (Xinhua) -- A national fitness gala wrapped up on Wednesday in Norhtwest China's Xi'an which attracted 20,000 participants.
Starting in May, the gala covered four events: fitness dancing, martial arts, Tai Chi and comprehensive fitness. More than 1,500 players in over 50 teams went through the preliminaries to enter the performance contest which started on August 4.
The martial arts contest on August 5 attracted 3,000 live audience members as well as 30,000 viewers online.
"China's mass fitness program can improve people's fitness and lifestyle. Sports activities can also help boost the economy of Xi'an," said Feng Yanyang, chief of the Xi'an sports bureau.
Statistics show that nearly half of Xi'an citizens take part in exercize year round. Young people prefer going to the gym or running on the streets, while square dancing and Taichi tender ball are favorites events of the middle aged and elderly. To attract more citizens to take exersize, Xi'an has renewed the fitness promenade along its ancient city wall.
The city wall of Xi'an is an extension of the prior Tang dynasty structure. Its construction started in 1370 and was completed in 1378. Now Xi'an citizens have the chance to play table tennis and do other fitness activities under China's most complete ancient city wall.
"We will build more fitness equipment and hold various competitions in the future. I believe that more and more citizens will take part in fitness activities," said Feng.