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China's National Winter Games officially opens in Inner Mongolia
  ·  2024-02-18  ·   Source: Xinhua News Agency

Chinese State Councilor Shen Yiqin officially opened the National Winter Games at the Inner Mongolia Ice Sports Training Center in Hulun Buir on February 17.

The 14th edition of the Games is set to showcase the exceptional talent of the athletes, the public's enthusiasm for winter sports, and the rich diversity of China's culture.

Sun Shaocheng, secretary of the Party committee of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, extended his warmest welcome to all participants of the Games on behalf of the organizers and the people of Inner Mongolia.

"Inner Mongolia has been prepared to embrace the National Winter Games, which is China's premier national-level winter sports event following the Beijing Winter Olympics," Sun said.

Gao Zhidan, director of China's General Administration of Sport, said, "The Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games made history for the development of China's winter sports, and the 14th National Winter Games will continue to write a new chapter."

"I hope that the athletes can show their competitiveness and solidarity in the fair and clean Games," Gao added.

Before the art show, 35 delegations of athletes entered the venue with their local landmark buildings and cultural elements displayed on the vertical LED screens, including the Great Wall in Beijing, the Oriental Pearl Tower in Shanghai, and the West Lake in Hangzhou.

The Chinese lanterns around the venue and the colorful lights created a cheerful atmosphere for celebrating the Spring Festival.

Through virtual reality and digital screens, the audience can experience the vast grassland, snowfield, and starry sky in Inner Mongolia.

Players of the morin khuur, a traditional Mongolian bowed stringed instrument also known as the horse-headed fiddle, performed melodious music, while the featured dancing of north China's ethnic groups embodied the spirit of persistence and tenacity to march forward.

The opening ceremony reached its climax as China's short track skater and Winter Olympic champion Wu Dajing ignited the cauldron in the shape of the Games' calligraphy-like emblem at the center of the hall, which resembles the Chinese character "Dong", meaning winter. The cauldron tower outside the venue was also lit up to inspire the athletes to attain new heights in the Games.

With the participation of over 3,000 athletes across the nation, the Games, featuring 176 events in eight sports, will continue until February 27.

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