The 2020 World Winter Sports (Beijing) Expo (WWSE) opened on September 5 as one of the eight sections of the China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS). At the main forum themed "Ways of Developing Ice and Snow Industry", Jarno Syrjala, Finnish Ambassador to China, detailed the cooperation results of the China-Finland Year of Winter Sports 2019 and said that long-term cooperation in school education and other aspects would continue.
In 2019, the China-Finland Year of Winter Sports, Finland participated in the 2019 WWSE as the guest country of honor. Compared to the previous China-Finland Year of Winter Sports, Jarno Syrjala said that it was the first time that China and Finland held such a theme year. With active cooperation from state leaders, government departments, companies and schools of the two countries, the final results surpassed expectations. Liu Fumin, director of the Department of Economics of the General Administration of Sport of China, also praised the results of the China-Finland Year of Winter Sports.
Jarno Syrjala said that driven by the China-Finland Year of Winter Sports, the two sides had conducted a series exchanges in many areas such as training and coaching. Some Finnish suppliers also participated in the preparations for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, and would sum up their experience in the future. He added that the Beijing Winter Olympics would have a strong and positive impact on China's winter sports culture and industrial development, and will propel China to become one of the world's leading winter sports countries.
The Vuokatti Sport Olympic Training Centre in Finland has become the largest overseas training base for Chinese winter events. In 2019, Chinese national teams, including cross-country skiing, ice hockey and snowboarding, were trained in Vuokatti. The ambassador revealed that many Chinese national teams would soon go to Vuokatti for training.
As a power in winter sports, Finland has won 168 medals at Winter Olympics and the ambassador said that it was closely related to the emphasis on winter sports education. "The Winter Olympics are an important part of winter sports, but not the whole of winter sports. We should look farther." He suggested paying attention to education while emphasizing sports competition, “We should integrate winter sports into school education and urge everyone to get enthusiastic about winter sports from childhood. This will be the focus of our future cooperation."
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