As several upcoming winter sports events are to be held in Beijing, athletes and coaches have expressed their expectations of a strong showing on home ice and snow.
Gao Tingyu, men's 500m speed skating gold medalist at the Beijing Winter Olympics, will return to the National Speed Skating Oval, known as the Ice Ribbon, after a one-season break to compete at the World Cup which runs from Friday to Sunday.
"I would like to see what I can do after the last six months' training and preparation," Gao said. "Hopefully our team can display our fighting spirit and achieve good results."
Li Yan, head coach of China's national speed skating team, vowed to improve the team's overall performance.
"We have Olympic champions like Zhang Hong and Gao Tingyu, but we need to develop more top-level skaters who are competitive at the World Cups and the Olympic Games. We will try our best to make more breakthroughs at the 2026 Winter Olympics," said Li, who is also president of the Chinese Skating Association.
The ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final will be held in Beijing from December 7 to 10, with elite figure skaters to compete at the National Indoor Stadium.
"We are happy that the Grand Prix Final returns to Beijing after 13 years. I'm sure these top events will reignite people's passion for winter sports in the city which has hosted both Summer and Winter Olympic Games," said Chinese Figure Skating Association president Shen Xue, who paired with Zhao Hongbo to win the pairs gold at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
Before the skating event, the 2023-2024 FIS Freeski and Snowboard Big Air World Cup will be held in Beijing from November 30 to December 2.
"Seven Chinese athletes will take part in the freeski competition, while Olympic champion Su Yiming and his teammate Yang Wenlong will compete in the snowboard Big Air. Our aim is to win medals in the women's freeski and men's snowboard Big Air," said Li Yang, deputy director of the Winter Sports Administrative Center of China's General Administration of Sport.
The bobsleigh & skeleton World Cup and short track speed skating World Cup will also take place in Beijing in the coming weeks.