A Press Conference was held at the Swedish Embassy in Beijing last Thursday in preparation for Summer Ski Sprint 2009, Aershan Stage.
Present were Vice Mayor of Aershan City, Mrs Guo Lingyun, Chief of Xingan League Sports Bureau, Mr Liu Zhichen, Secretary of the Chinese Ski Association, Mr Gao Xuedong, Swedish Ambassador to China, Mr Mikael Lindstrom, founder and honorary president of Nordic Ways, Mr Gavert Waag and journalists from CCTV-5 and China Sports Daily etc.
Honorary guest were the Swedish Table Tennis players Jorgen Persson and Fredrik Hakansson who had just arrived to Beijing in the morning for their later appearance in China-Sweden Table Tennis Challenge which we have written about before.
The press conference started with Mrs Guo giving a description of Aershan and its surroundings, saying that Aershan is a very suitable place for having ski events and that the city, because its clean environment and lack of heavy polluting industry, is an exceptional place for eco-tourism. The Chief of Aershan tourism was also confident that this event has the opportunity to further promote Aershan tourism industry and bring international recognition for the City.
The cooperation with Nordic Ways, especially on the technique of keeping snow from the winter stored and ready for the summer sprint has gone smoothly and Aershan are ready to welcome the foreign and domestic skiers with a great track and snow quality.
The Swedish ambassador spoke of the long standing cooperation Sweden has with China and was happy for the many different event types that Nordic Ways has been able to promote here in China such as biking in Huangshan MTB Festival and running in Lidingoloppet China.
The Summer Ski Sprint does not only promote the traditional Nordic cross country skiing, but is also a new and fresh way of organizing a ski event which appeals to the public.
On the question of what lies ahead for Summer Ski Sprint, Gavert Waag said that as the event already has been expanded to a two stage tour from 2008s competitions in Changbai Mt, the plan for next year is to take the event even further to include more cities in Northern China for possible up to as much as 8 Stages.
Event though this days press conference was about skiing, the journalists last question went to the World Champion Jorgen Persson who asked when he thinks the world will see Swedens next Waldner or Persson: -“We have some promising juniors, but it will take some time before they start playing international championships. The next Waldner will come though, just wait and see…”