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ESPN’s inaugural Chinese Winter X Games to be in Hebei

ASPEN, COLORADO - JANUARY 27: Yuto Totsuka of Japan competes in the Men's Snowboard Superpipe final at the 2019 Winter X Games on January 27, 2019 in Aspen, Colorado. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

ESPN announced Wednesday that the first Winter X Games to be held in China will be in the district of Chongli, in Hebei province, on February 21-23, 2020.

The X Games Chongli will be held at the Genting Resort Secret Garden ski resort, which is also earmarked as a venue for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.

The disciplines featured will be men’s and women’s, and ski and snowboard, versions of big air, slopestyle and superpipe (known as halfpipe at the Olympics). Apart from sports competitions, the X Games Chongli will also feature musical performances, art installations and other festival experiences.

The event will be broadcast on television in China and internationally, on ESPN and other networks.

ESPN is running the event in collaboration with Asian sports event company REnextop Entertainment, under a multi-year agreement to produce multiple winter and non-winter X Games. A non-winter X Games took place in Shanghai in June. With the Chongli event, the organisers are hoping to tap into the Chinese appetite for wintersports being nurtured by the government and other stakeholders ahead of the 2022 Winter Olympics.

Tim Reed, vice-president of ESPN X Games, said: “We are thrilled to announce the partnership with REnextop to produce both summer and winter X Games events in China. China is a significant global market and represents an exciting opportunity to connect the X Games brand to a country with such profound history, culture and a love for sports.”

Lilian Chen, the chief executive officer of REnextop said: “We’re proud to work with ESPN to bring the X Games to China and produce world-class events showcasing the top action sports athletes in the world, as well as the music, art and culture that connects so well with the youth and sports lifestyle. This is truly a unique opportunity to grow X Games in China, a country with a proven track record of embracing big sporting and cultural events.”

A recent report from China’s General Administration of Sport stated ambitions to attract 300m Chinese to winter sports between 2018 and 2022.

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