FIS Presidential Candidate Credits Dry Ski Slopes As Contributor to China’s Ski Boom
Sarah Lewis, the only woman presidential candidate for the upcoming election to become the new leader of the International Ski Federation (FIS), has credited the creation of dry slopes in areas without conventional snow slopes as a driver of China’s meteoric rise as a ski nation.
In an interview with Chinese state media agency Xinhua, Lewis said,
“By growing its ski resort numbers, as well as investing in dry slopes and simulators, China has massively opened up access to the sport, which is vital for participation by everyone of all ages, and to help produce generations of future athletes. Now global sports analysts are predicting that China will soon become the world’s largest winter sports market.”
“Alongside the performance programs, the regions and cities around China are part of the project to develop winter sports as a recreational activity for the health and welfare of the population and for tourism. When you consider the global snow sports market has 150 million participants, tripling it will have a major impact on the winter sports industry – not only in China, but around the world,” she added.
Xinhua report that Sarah Lewis, who is British and also holds a prestigious OBE for services to sport, learned to ski herself on a dry slope at the age of five, and by 15 years old training around the world, before competing in the World Championships at 23 and representing Britain aged 24 at the 1988 Olympic Winter Games in Calgary.