Volunteers Ready for National Winter Games in Xinjiang

2016-01-19 20:45:48 | From:http://english.cri.cn/12394/2016/01/19/4203s913598.htm

A picture shows the mascot, called "Snow Lotus Baby," of the 13th National Winter Games in Xinjiang.[Photo:CRIenglish/Li Jianhua]

China's National Winter Games are set to get underway in Xinjiang tomorrow.

Ahead of the opening ceremony, volunteers have been working for weeks to try to ensure the event comes off smoothly.

CRI's Li Jianhua has more from Xinjiang's capital, Urumqi.


Around 14-hundred volunteers from across China have been recruited for the event.

Ranging in age from 16 to 52, most hail from Xinjiang.

Around 90-percent of them are university students, and represent 17 different ethnic groups.

Zulpikar Sidik is studying journalism at Xinjiang University in Urumqi.

The young volunteer says he's proud the National Winter Games are being held in Xinjiang.

"I feel happy because I'm contributing something to this event, no matter how tiny the effort might be. I believe all different ethnic groups in China want to devote themselves to the games and work for the prosperity of China. It is totally something worthwhile."

Beyond volunteering for national pride, Sidik says working at the Winter Games also gives him a chance to get close to the action.

"The thing I like the most is that I can watch the fierce competition in the short-track speed skating. I've watched it a lot on television. But being here, it gives me a chance to see it at ice-level. It really sends my adrenaline rising when I see it live."

Among the 14-hundred volunteers, around one-in-five have previous experience volunteering at major sporting events, such as the Olympics or the Asian Games.

Qin Wenyu is a sophomore at Xinjiang University, majoring in International Relations.

She's been volunteering at community care centers, helping the disabled.

This is her first opportunity to volunteer at a major sporting event, and says she hopes it could lead to a volunteering position for the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing.

"I feel so proud that my hometown Xinjiang has this opportunity to host the games. I love being part of the event. I post some pictures of my volunteer work online now than then. My friends and family are all so proud of me as well. When the 2022 Winter Olympic Games come, I would love to contribute my effort to it as well if i have the chance. The volunteer work here is a good platform to show myself off and do something meaning for society. "

The National Winter Games in Xinjiang this year is unique, in that it's the first time the Games have been held outside northeastern China since they first began in 1959.

A total of 54 provincial and municipal-level teams are competing for 97 gold medals in 11 multi-discipline sports, including alpine skiing, speed skating and hockey over a 12-day period.

The opening ceremony is set to take place on Wednesday, with more than a thousand performers taking part in an elaborate display.

For CRI, this is Li Jianhua reporting from Urumqi.

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