Qualifier Series gives Shanghai second close brush with Olympics
Shanghai is gearing up for an array of high-level sporting events, including hosting an Olympic Qualifier Series for the first time, as it targets becoming a world-renowned sports city by 2050.
The series, authorized by the International Olympic Committee, includes four sports, namely, BMX freestyle, skateboarding, breaking and sport climbing. It is a new and festive sporting event that integrates sports with urban culture.
The series serves as an important step in determining athletes' qualification for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, and also provides an immersive Olympic experience that combines sports, arts, music and culture.
Shanghai Vice Mayor Xie Dong said that "the series is the city's second close contact with the Olympic Games," following the Beijing 2008 Olympics during which the city was a sub-venue for football matches.
The series will be held on May 16-19 next year at the Puxi Expo Park on the Huangpu Riverside.
A world-renowned sports city
In an ongoing bid to become a globally recognized sports city, Shanghai has been emphasizing on a regulated and standardized sports environment.
Significance of multifaceted sports has been underscored, with the city also introducing various rules and regulations to offer legal support to the development of sports.
This year, Shanghai is hosting 121 major international and domestic events, including the ATP Tennis Shanghai Rolex Masters and the 2023 Shanghai Super Cup.
Next year, the city will see the return of international competitions like the Formula One Chinese Grand Prix and the Shanghai Global Equestrian Championship, along with proprietary events like the Shanghai Marathon and the MAGIC3 Youth 3-on-3 Basketball Competition.
In the next three years, Shanghai will host a slew of major sporting events, such as the Four Continents Ice Dance Tournament and the Global Paddling Championships.
Also, Shanghai is set to bring the global sensation "FISE Adrenaline Sports Fest" as a part of the extreme sport's FISE Worldwide Circuit with a stopover in October 2024, drawing in participants from all corners of the globe.
Additionally, the city plans to hold the Innovative Ring-Shanghai New City Cycling Race in late September 2024, a proprietary event expecting participation from teams globally and providing a competitive platform for cycling enthusiasts.
Shanghai continues to forge new developments in sports, pushing vigorously to establish itself as a world-renowned sports city and actively contributing to the flourishing advancement of the sports sector.
Shanghai's progression in becoming a renowned international sports hub is evident through advancements in several key areas:
Shanghai organizes city sports festivals and amateur leagues, drawing around 11 million participants annually. It leads the nation in the number of sports organizations, striving to make fitness accessible and desirable for everyone.
Around 200,000 youngsters engage in various sports events annually, fostering numerous youthful athletes. The city has introduced an integrated sports-education model, promoting general fitness while nurturing prospective competitive talents.
Shanghai has been home to numerous Olympic and world champions, earning national acclaim. Local athletes have already secured multiple gold medals at the ongoing Hangzhou Asian Games, elevating the national team's overall performance.
Shanghai has optimized its sports industry structure with services accounting for 80 percent of the total input. The city encourages sports consumption and backs sports enterprise development through diverse policy measures, including substantial sports vouchers and sports festivals, thereby fueling industry growth.
Major sports facilities like Xujiahui Sports Park and the International Equestrian Center are under construction, which offer enhanced fitness and recreational options.