A playground of snow and ice

Updated: 2015-01-10 07:28

By Erik Nilsson and Yang Yang(China Daily)

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A playground of snow and ice

The Bird's Nest last month staged Air + Style's snowboarding competition. Provided to China Daily

China's 2022 Winter Olympics bid has added fuel to the fire. But it's far from the only reason residents are discovering new ways in which ice is nice.

Wukesong Ice World Sports Land was over capacity when it opened Asia's largest skating rink in early December.

Lines snaked outside the 15,000-square-meter arena, which includes a 1,800-square-meter outdoor rink that will be the city's only outside rink open through summers thanks to Dutch technology, during the free-admission period, when management didn't tally visits.

The main rink is connected to a smaller area by a twisting, 210-meter lane.

About 2,600 people visited the arena, which has a 900-skater capacity, on the first day tickets were sold in early December.

"We expected a lot of people," Beijing Wukesong Arena Management Co Ltd media marketing supervisor Dong Xiaoyuan says.

"But far more came than we'd imagined."