Harbin, capital of North China’s Heilongjiang Province, will host the 9th Asian Winter Games set to take place in 2025.
The announcement was made by the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) on July 8 in Bangkok, Thailand.
Harbin previously hosted the 3rd Asian Winter Games in 1996.
Harbin's famous St. Sophia Church. Image via Weibo/@放荡不羁的狂野男孩
The team responsible for Harbin’s bid included, Zhang Hong, Winter Olympic gold medalist in the women’s 1,000-meter speed skating event at Sochi 2014.
She had the following to say at the OCA meeting in Bangkok:
“I’m a native of Harbin and this is a city of Olympic champions. I’m confident that my hometown will provide ideal conditions for athletes to achieve their dreams.”
Harbin may be able to learn from Beijing and Hangzhou – the former having hosted the Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2022, and the latter set to host the 19th Asian Games in September and October of this year.
READ MORE: 100 Days Until Hangzhou Asian Games 2022!
Known for its Ice & Snow Sculpture Festival, sub-zero temperatures and more, Harbin is perhaps not a surprising choice for the Asian Winter Games.
Go there to travel and you’ll also find Russian-style architecture, hearty cuisine and a whole load of other ice and snow activities.
Harbin's Ice & Snow Sculpture Festival. Image by Sophie Steiner/That's
A less obvious destination to the host the Asian Winter Games is that of Saudi Arabia, which has successfully bid for the 10th Asian Winter Games, set to take place in 2029.
A mountain resort in the upper northwest of Saudi Arabia – known as the Trojena development – is currently under construction as part of the Neom project.
A computer-generated image of the Trojena development, Neom in Saudi Arabia. Image via Weibo/@君君的旅行日记
The project is estimated to cost USD500 billion and will offer a year-round destination for winter sports, reports The Guardian.
Saudi Arabia's successful bid was announced at a meeting of the OCA in Phnom Penh, Cambodia in October 2022.
[Cover image via Weibo/@智趣威虎山]