• Chinese President Xi Jinping with young winter sports athletes.

Chinese President Xi Jinping with young winter sports athletes. (Photo : Twitter)

Chinese President Xi Jinping urged the country's athletes to significantly improve their performance in preparation for the 2022 Winter Olympics to be held in Beijing.

Better performances

Xi made the call after he visited the venues that will be hosting the Winter Games in 2022 and talking with some of the athletes who participated in the recent Asian Winter Games, Inside The Games reported. He stressed that the country needs to boost its current level in winter sports.

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The president noted that the country's winter athletes are very good in ice events, but are lagging behind in skiing competitions. Of the 12 gold medals won by China in the recent Asian Winter games in Sapporo, Japan, six came from speed skating, but only one came from skiing. Snowboarding brought in another three.

Meanwhile, the team was only able to manage an 11th-place finish in the ski jumping event.

Xi said that there is a need to encourage the public's overall interest in winter sports in order to attract more talent for competitions. He also hailed the performance of the national athletes and urged them to strive for better international results.

More effective preparations

Meanwhile, Xi also said that it is important for China's preparation for hosting the 2022 Winter Olympics be done in a rational manner for a successful turnout of the event, China Daily reported. The president called the upcoming event an important opportunity to better develop the country and boost national morale.

Xi visited the construction sites of the Wukesong Arena and the Capital Gymnasium, which will serve as the major venues for the Games. He also inspected the site for Beijing's new international airport.

The president called on the planners for the event to make use of knowledge coming from foreign experience, while encouraging domestic development and innovation to deal with the problems that the effort might encounter.