Published: 11:01, April 15, 2024 | Updated: 11:02, April 15, 2024
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300-day countdown to Asian Winter Games marked in Harbin
By Zhou Huiying and Tian Xuefei in Harbin
Athletes and performers take part in an event held to celebrate the 300-day countdown for the 9th Asian Winter Games in Harbin, Heilongjiang province, on April 13, 2024. (GUO JUNFENG / FOR CHINA DAILY)

Heilongjiang province and its capital, Harbin, will strive to host a high-level 9th Asian Winter Games, which will help the province create a new growth pole for the ice and snow economy and build a new highland for opening up to the north, the province's governor, Liang Huiling, said on Saturday.

She was addressing residents, athletes, performers, office workers and children gathered in Harbin for a countdown celebration ceremony marking 300 days to the start of the Games, which are scheduled to open in the city on Feb 7 next year.

"Hosting the 9th Asian Winter Games is a glorious mission for Heilongjiang," Liang said. "The 300-day countdown is an important milestone in the preparatory process, marking the crucial stage of accelerating the preparatory work."

Gao Zhidan, director of China's General Administration of Sport, speaks during a ceremony to mark 300 days to go for the 9th Asian Winter Games Harbin 2025 in Harbin, Northeast China's Heilongjiang province, April 13, 2024. (PHOTO / XINHUA)

Gao Zhidan, head of the General Administration of Sport and chairman of the Games' organizing committee, said the administration will work with Heilongjiang and Harbin to increase the momentum of preparatory work and strive to host a high-level and high-quality Asian Winter Games, showcase the charm of winter sports, promote the vigorous development of ice and snow sports, and improve the level of competition.

At the countdown event, a promotional video, Shared Future for Harbin, and the core graphics, color scheme and sports pictograms for the Games were released. The Games will run for eight days and feature six sports, 11 disciplines and 64 events

 

"The Games will also provide a platform for exchanges among countries and regions in Asia, and work together with them to create a better future," Gao said.

At the countdown event, a promotional video, Shared Future for Harbin, and the core graphics, color scheme and sports pictograms for the Games were released. The Games will run for eight days and feature six sports, 11 disciplines and 64 events.

Timothy Fok Tsun-ting, vice-president of the Olympic Council of Asia and chairman of its coordination committee, said at the ceremony that the council will continue to promote the beauty and charm of Heilongjiang and Harbin to the 45 member countries and regions.

"We hope that the big family of Asian winter sports will enjoy our own ice and snow event after 300 days," he said.

Timothy Fok Tsun-ting, vice-president of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) and chairperson of the OCA Coordination Committee, speaks during a ceremony to mark 300 days to go for the 9th Asian Winter Games Harbin 2025 in Harbin, Northeast China's Heilongjiang province, April 13, 2024. (PHOTO / XINHUA)

Preparations in the city are proceeding in an orderly manner, with focuses on environmental protection and technology, the organizing committee said.

The Harbin Ice Hockey Arena will take center stage at the Games after renovation.

Preparations in the city are proceeding in an orderly manner, with focuses on environmental protection and technology, the organizing committee said

"We have selected environmentally friendly decoration materials such as paints and boards, all of which must pass environmental testing before use," said Qin Xulin, director of the engineering department at Harbin Urban Development Investment Group. "Sports lighting equipment will all be energy-efficient, low-consumption devices, and temporary buildings will adopt recyclable modular structures."

In addition to building dedicated information technology networks for events and media at the Games, comprehensive network upgrades are also being carried out in related transportation hubs, expressways, high-speed rail lines and accommodations.

Guests officiate at a ceremony to mark 300 days to go for the 9th Asian Winter Games Harbin 2025 in Harbin, Northeast China's Heilongjiang province, April 13, 2024. (PHOTO / XINHUA)
Mascots Binbin (left) and Nini are seen during a ceremony to mark 300 days to go for the 9th Asian Winter Games Harbin 2025 in Harbin, Northeast China's Heilongjiang province, April 13, 2024. (PHOTO / XINHUA)

"To meet the needs of spectators, athletes and referees in the venues, we will also extensively utilize tri-carrier aggregation technology and 5G-A technology, providing users with a better wireless internet service experience," said Liu Guoxiang, deputy director of the information technology department of the Harbin Asian Winter Games Executive Committee. 

"We hope Harbin can showcase to the world the outstanding achievements it has made in driving technological, managerial, service and industrial innovation through digitization, intelligence and networking."