Sports flourish in Shanxi as health fad kicks in
Cyclists compete in the 2019 Tour of Taiyuan in the provincial capital of Shanxi province. [Photo/Shanxi Daily]
Shanxi's sports cause has been flourishing since 2016, with enhanced athletic capabilities and vigorous development of mass sports.
In recent years, Shanxi athletes have been continuously challenging their limits and surpassing themselves in both national and international competitions.
At the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, local athlete Su Yiming became the first Olympic champion in Chinese snowboarding history, achieving a new breakthrough for Shanxi by clinching the gold medal at the Winter Olympics.
In the women's 1-meter springboard final at the 2022 World Swimming Championships, Shanxi native Li Yajie also won gold, becoming the first female diving world champion from the province. The Shanxi men's team also won the national archery championship in 2023…
Behind these hard-earned medals and honors are the athletes' efforts and sweat, as well as the high importance given to sports by Shanxi.
By improving the related management mechanisms, and optimizing the project structures and layouts, Shanxi has maintained its leading position in certain sports, made breakthroughs in other sports with strong development potential, and increased its policy research and investment in track and field, and swimming.
Efforts have also been made to coordinate and promote competitive sports in various cities and universities, and to develop competitive sports projects with regional characteristics.
Shanxi has achieved impressive results amid the boom of competitive sports.
At the 2016 Rio de Janeiro and 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Shanxi athletes won one gold and three silver medals, two fifth places, one eighth place, and one 10th place, in total.
Meanwhile, at the 13th and 14th National Games, local athletes from the province managed to pocket 14 gold, 20 silver, and 27 bronze medals.
For the international events of 2022 alone, Shanxi athletes pocketed 10 gold medals, while China won an Olympic quota of three spots for its shooters at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, with Shanxi making the lead contribution to set a new provincial and national record.
While competitive sports are making great strides, mass sports have also sprung up in the province.
The construction of public sports facilities in Shanxi has progressed, and the public service capacity for national fitness has significantly increased. As of the end of 2022, Shanxi had 116,200 sports venues, with an average of 2.56 square meters of sports venue area per capita.
In parallel with the rapid growth of sports facilities, there has been a wide range of mass sports activities, and the establishment of a diverse sports event system.
In the province, 585 communities have organized community sports events, providing local sports activities for the masses and attracting more than 50,000 participants.
Moreover, governments at all levels have organized sports and fitness activities during holidays. In 2022, the proportion of residents regularly participating in sports reached 36.4 percent.
In addition, Shanxi has been promoting the rapid development of fitness services, competition performances, equipment manufacturing, and other sports-related industries. It has focused on the revitalization and upgrading of the sports manufacturing industry, the integration of sports with other industries, the improvement of sports tourism infrastructure, and the increase in the added value of sports culture, as well as the development of sports tourism brands.