Wei Gu writing for The Wall Street Journal reports that skiing is the latest obsession of China’s wealthy. “Skiing is taking off in a big way in China. Beijing sees the sport as part of its China dream.”
Skiing isn’t new to China. In fact, China View.cn says cliff paintings of hunters in rugged remote northwestern China appear to prove that Chinese (in that area) were adept skiers as early as the Stone Age some 100 to 200 centuries ago. Of course back then skiing wasn’t a sport. It was used to get around and go hunting. But that’s changed. Today “skiing has become a popular pastime for China’s burgeoning new middle class, with several slopes around the capital, Beijing, packed every winter weekend.”
Skiing also isn’t new to me, but I haven’t gone skiing for about 20 years, and if I ever ski again, I will have to buy new boots and maybe new skis, since my old pair of parabolic skis have been gathering dust in the garage for far too long.
Back in my powder days, I often skied two of Southern California’s more popular ski resorts, along with Mammoth Mountain in central California, in addition to Mount Bachelor and Mount Hood (both active volcanoes) in Oregon, and I had my share of days and nights skiing in blizzards at temperatures far below freezing.
I have never snowboarded but a former student told me it is easier than skiing. Maybe one day I will find out, and I might give it a try in China.
Sexy Beijing’s reporter Rachel Dupuy went to Nanshan to see what was up in China’s newly forming snowboarding scene. What we discover from Beijing Beat: Riding China (the embedded video above) is Beijing’s Nanshan ski area the winter of 2008 with a snowboarding competition that included $25,000 in prizes.
It appears that along with fast food, for instance, McDonalds, KFC, and Pizza Hut, China is adopting western sports. In Tiger Woods smiles big while golfing in China, I wrote about China’s growing number of golf courses and mentioned Chinese golfers numbering more than 100,000 and taking to the sport with enthusiasm.
If you are a dedicated powder monkey, for more information about skiing in China, click on the link for Ski Resort.info for a list of all 57 ski resorts in China, and for the to 5, click China Highlights.com.
And if you are into cross country skiing, well, Boston Globe.com reports that every Jan. 2 near Changchun, a provincial city about 600 miles northeast of Beijing with 7.5 million people, is open to both competitive skiers and the general public for a 17.5 kilometer (10.9 miles) race that is an easier version of the 52.5 kilometer (32.6 miles) main event.
Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the lusty love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.
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