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    PolyGlide Blog, News & Updates

    China Looking to Dominate 2022 Winter Olympic Games

    China Looking to Dominate 2022 Winter Olympic Games

    China is investing billions of dollars into new ski resorts, skating rinks, and athletics programs to breed a new generation of athletes that can help it win big in the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.

    The country wants to build 800 ski resorts and 650 skating rinks by 2022, when it will host the next Winter Games, the state-owned China Daily newspaper reported.

    China unveiled the ambitious project in 2015, when it was chosen to host the 2022 Winter Olympics.

    The plan is to create 300 million skiers, skaters, ice hockey players, and other winter athletes within the next few years — some of whom will represent the country in four years' time, when the country's status as host will allow it to enter athletes into every single discipline.

    Its plans effectively amount to constructing an entire winter sports industry in the run-up to the next Winter Olympics.

    Billion-Dollar Plans for Winter Sports

     China made its newfound enthusiasm for winter sports official in 2016, when it published its five-year National Fitness Program - a 1.5 trillion renminbi ($237 billion/£169 billion) plan unveiled in 2016 to reinvigorate the country's fitness industries.

    The plan highlighted the importance of winter sports, such as skiing and figure skating, and called for new facilities to cater to them.

    Since the plan was announced, real estate developers have built massive new facilities to meet the country's demand for winter sports. Coaches from places like Britain and Canada have flocked there to make a living.

    According to China Daily, the number of ski resorts in the country rose from 300 to 700 between 2014 and 2017 alone.

    Last July, the northern Chinese city of Harbin opened the world's largest indoor ski resort, which cost 40 billion RMB ($6.3 billion/£4.5 billion) to build, and whose slopes can accommodate 3,000 people at a time. This video shows what it looks like:

    China is also building new high-speed trains to shuttle skiers from Beijing to Chongli, a town in the northern Hebei province where most of the 2022 Games events will take place, the LA Times reported.

    What's behind China's new obsession with winter sports?

    The main reason is to win big and look good in front of a home audience in 2022.

    The country invested heavily in grooming its athletes for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, David Dollar, a China expert at the Brookings Institute, told Axios.

    It appeared to pay off — the country ended up taking the most gold medals that year, effectively winning the games.

    Mark Dreyer, the founder of the Beijing-based news site China Sports Insider, told Business Insider: "Every country wants to do well on home soil, and past results show that the host nation almost always gets a bump in the medals table (due to factors including increased funding and home support), so China would gladly trade success in 2018 for success in 2022."

    As Liu Bo, a former ski trainer, told Reuters: "China spends big money setting up the stage [for the Winter Olympics], and the performers are all foreigners. President Xi will not allow this to happen. We have to be the leading actor in 2022."

    Liu Bo, a former ski trainer, told Reuters that Chinese President Xi Jinping was determined to have China be the preeminent in the 2022 games and would not accept a situation where the stars of the show are "all foreigners."

    "President Xi will not allow this to happen," he said. "We have to be the leading actor in 2022."

    China's ambitions for winter sports go beyond the 2022 Games, however. As the country becomes richer, the government hopes to turn winter sports into a sprawling new industry.

    Authorities expect China's winter sports industry to be worth 1 trillion RMB ($158 billion/£113 billion) by 2025, the South China Morning Post reported.

    As of last year, it was worth around 397 billion RMB ($62 billion/£45 billion), the China Daily said, meaning the industry would need to almost triple in size to meet the target.

    The LA Times quoted Laurent Vanat, a Swiss ski consultant, describing China as "the only market with such tremendous potential."

    So will China win big in 2022?

    Dreyer, the Beijing-based sports journalist, said there is "no chance" China will win the 2022 Games — but it could still manage a large medal haul.

    China is unlikely to win in the more traditional — and by extension more competitive — winter sports, like downhill and slalom skiing, he said.

    However, it might have a chance in the newer or less popular ones, such as freestyle and mogul skiing, snowboarding, and curling.

    Dreyer said: "Few, if any, countries can match the funding that China will invest in winter sports at the elite level over the next four years, meaning that in at least some of the disciplines, Chinese athletes will be as competitive as any other country. [...]

    "On a wider level, China has targeted a goal of having 120 million skiers and 180 million skaters by an unspecified date. These are ludicrously overambitious targets, but if China only succeeds in achieving a fraction of these targets, it could still have one of the largest winter sports bases by population in the world.

    "That, in turn, will help to generate more medalists at the elite level."

    By Alexandra Ma

    Business Insider

     

    The History of Synthetic Ice

    The History of Synthetic Ice

    Synthetic ice panels are a solid polymer sheet material made from polyethylene plastic. These synthetic ice sheets are connected together using various methods (dovetail, tongue and groove, flush edge) to form an artificial ice skating surface.


    Early implementation of synthetic ice for ice skating dates all the way back to the 1960's when polymer materials became more commonplace in everyday life.

    Over the decades synthetic ice has continued to develop with the use of High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) and Utra-High Molecular Weight (UHMWPE) being the industry standard among most manufacturers and distributors.

    Low molecular weight plastics are not suitable enough for skating as they are too soft and break down too easily. Polymer surfaces that are too hard strip the skate edge blade down too quickly and limit the amount of time one can skate without loosing their edge.

    Evolution

    Over time different variations of these polymer compounds along with "slip" agent additives continued to improve the overall performance of today’s modern synthetic ice.

    A Synthetic ice rink can virtually be installed in any location or climate condition with relatively easy assembly. With no need for electricity or refrigeration and with the improvement of its overall performance, synthetic ice has become a cost effective substitute to refrigerated ice.

    Options

    Surfaces manufactured without a slip agent additive do require a surface lubricant application while others that are infused during manufacturing offer the least amount of surface friction or "coefficient of friction".

    All synthetic ice surfaces need to be kept clean to provide optimal glide and performance so a certain amount of maintenance is required for both infused and non-infused surfaces.

    Skaters can expect 10-15% added friction while skating on synthetic ice which has helped it to become a popular training tool for Hockey Players and Figure Skaters alike.

    Acceptance

    As synthetic ice materials continue to develop it has become a more of a practical alternative to natural ice where conditions are not feasible. New developments have closed the gap on a more natural ice "feel" and overall skating experience.


    ACP Hockey Synthetic Ice Training

    ACP Hockey Synthetic Ice Training

    Experience Pays Off

    Austin Coldwell has spent a good portion of his 27 years traveling long distances to learn and play hockey.

    The Vancouver native went from youth hockey to junior hockey to college at the University of Anchorage-Alaska to the professional minor leagues.

    His only real time playing close to home was at ages 15 and 16 for the Fort Vancouver Pioneers at Mountain View Ice Arena.

    A New Beginning

    Now that his playing days are over, Coldwell has opened his own training program — Austin Coldwell Premier Hockey, or ACPHockey — with the goal of not only developing young players but giving them the option of staying close to home to learn the sport.

    To make that happen, Coldwell not only coaches at Mountain View Ice Arena, he uses his ACPHockey gym with its 224-square foot PolyGlide synthetic ice surface.

    “No one here is doing this,” Coldwell said of his artificial surface that has been in place since January. “I wanted to start training players and developing players here. It creates more opportunities.”

    That’s the case for 11-year-old Rylan Oster. He’s part of the Junior Winterhawks program.

    “We’ve had take so many trips to Canada on weekends,” said his father Rory, who is the athletic director at Camas High School. “It was great that we found Austin.”

    Building Skills on Synthetic Ice

    Synthetic ice is like a hard plastic cutting board put together like a puzzle with interlocking pieces. It is treated with a lubricant that gives the ability for skates to slide and yet remains dry to the touch.

    The bonus of a PolyGlide synthetic ice surface is it can be placed anywhere at any time of the year, hot or cold, without electricity.

    Coldwell explained that the purpose of utilizing the synthetic ice along with the real thing is to develop the smaller details of the game.

    “Skating, edgework, lots of movement,” he said. “Lots of applied pressure to the skate and stick handling as well. We try to work on very technical, very small details here in the gym.”

    On the real ice at Mountain View, Coldwell has players work on broader hockey skills and positional work.

    “We have hypothetical situations, show players why they are working on a particular skill,” he said.

    Growing the Program

    To share his work with athletes, Coldwell utilizes social media by posting videos on Instagram (@ACPHockey) and Twitter (@ACPHockey77) from his workout sessions and camps with the hockey players. His website www.acphockey.com outlines the program.

    You can learn how to use the whole body efficiently. It’s an application for game day,” Coldwell says of his program. “It’s just hard work. No secret there.”

    Coldwell is already seeing his hard work pay off, not only in keeping players close to home, but also looking to expand his gym into a bigger space in the coming months.

     

     By Jeff Klein, Columbian sports staff

    http://www.columbian.com

    It's Never Too Late to Learn How to Ice Skate

    It's Never Too Late to Learn How to Ice Skate

    Do you find yourself gaining weight during the long, cold winter months? Is it difficult to stay motivated to exercise, particularly when there's frost on the ground?

    If your home exercise equipment or local gym is failing to get you up and out of your easy chair, it may be time to try a new type of exercise this winter.

    How about something that not only gets your heart beating faster, but also improves your balance, physical fitness, and coordination?

    Why not try something that’s so much fun, you'll forget you're working out?

    Ice skating might be the perfect fit for you. You may follow figure skating competitions during the winter Olympics or enjoy watching your favorite hockey team square off against its rivals — but do you skate yourself? It’s never too late to learn.

    You can learn to ice skate at any age. Learn more about the benefits of this fun and invigorating winter activity.

    Health benefits of ice skating

    Ice skating is great for your heart and lungs. It provides an aerobic workout, getting your heart pumping and improving your circulation.

    This can help you feel more alert and energetic, while lowering your risk of heart disease.

    Ice skating can also help you lose weight, especially if you combine it with a healthy and well-balanced diet. Y

    ou can potentially burn more than 200 calories for every half hour of skating, reports Harvard Medical School.

    Ice skating also tones and stretches your muscles as you learn to engage your abdominals, thighs, and calves to maintain your balance.

    The more you skate, the more strength and endurance you’ll develop.

    Finally, skating can improve your mental fitness. As you learn to skate, you’ll challenge your mind and body to develop new skills, increase your self-confidence, and exercise mental control.

    This fun seasonal activity is also a great way to spend time with friends and family members.

    Hitting your local ice rink together can help you unwind and relieve stress in the company of loved ones.

    Before you get started

    Before you start ice skating, take these simple steps to prepare.

    Talk to your doctor

    As with any exercise program, it's wise to check with your doctor before starting to ice skate.

    They can help you decide if you're in good enough health to take on the challenge.

    They can also help you understand the risks and benefits, and strategies to avoid injury.

    Stock your closet

    It’s important to dress warmly but in layers when you skate, so you can shed clothing as you start to warm up.

    Leggings and stretchy fitted tops allow freedom of motion. Wear microfiber socks rather than cotton socks. They will absorb moisture and fit well on your feet, reducing your risk of blisters.

    Wear gloves, not only for warmth, but also to protect your hands if you fall.

    Consider wearing hip, knee, elbow, and wrist pads or guards to protect your joints against injuries. A helmet can also help you stay safe by avoiding head injuries. Wearing protective equipment is especially important if you're not confident in your balance. These precautions can help you avoid injury and continue skating, even after a fall.

    Rent or buy skates

    When you first start, consider renting your skates instead of buying them. That will give you the chance to try different styles to learn what you like and don't like.

    When it comes time to buy, you’ll have more experience and knowledge on which to base your purchasing decision.

    If you want to buy skates right away, get some advice from a reputable skating instructor. They can help you determine which skates may be best for you. Whatever you decide, make sure your skates fit well.

    Skate sizes don't always match shoe sizes. Your heels should be snug against the back of your skates, and you should be able to wiggle your toes up and down.

    Hitting the ice

    Once you've got your doctor’s approval and basic apparel, you're ready to go skating. You can choose a public skate time at your local rink and try it out on your own.

    You can invest in group or private lessons. Or you can ask a friend or family member who knows how to skate to help you learn.

    You’ll probably fall a few times along the way, so it’s important to learn how to fall in ways that will minimize your risk of injury. Tuck your hands in close so other skaters don't run over your fingers when you are down.

    Try to relax as you fall, so you don't land too stiffly. Protect your wrists, elbows, hips, and knees if possible. If you can, land on your backside. That's the least likely part of your body to get injured.

    Practice stopping as soon as you can. This will be your most important skill.

    You can use the T-stop, where you drag one skate behind the other at a 45-degree angle. Or you can use the snowplow stop, where you push your skates apart and form a pigeon-toed position, using the inside of the blades to shave the ice and slow your momentum.

    Try not to become discouraged. Remember you're learning something entirely new. It’s important to be patient with yourself and enjoy the journey.

    Before long, you may find yourself dreading the summer months because ice skating is so much fun!

    Written by The Healthline Editorial Team

    It's a Wonderland Life in Hendersonville

    It's a Wonderland Life in Hendersonville

     

    The Town of Hendersonville, NC once again unveiled their annual Winter Wonderland synthetic Henderson Countyice skating rink to the community this Holiday season but this year was a little extra special. After two seasons of renting a synthetic ice rink, organizers decided to invest in purchasing their own surface that also included a curling rink and fencing to add to their Christmas Holiday theme. 

    Just Like Real Ice

    SkatersThe new "infused" surface offers the latest in synthetic ice technology manufactured by PolyGlide Synthetic Ice. The surface does not require any surface lubricants or glide enhancers for ice skating....just install and start skating! The rink will be open daily during the Holiday season from 11am to 7pm (weather permitting) until New Years Day, January 1st, 2019.

    Curling Fun

    An added attraction alongside the skating rink is an 8ft X 60ft curling lane curling rinkwhich features one Target or "House" on each end, centerline and hack marks to make you feel like a Pro!. The new PolyGlide Ice "Olympic Gold" medal model was designed after the Olympic curling rink in PyeongChang, South Korea in which the USA Curling Team brought home the Gold Medal.

    Games, Activities & Snacks

    Ice SkatingAcross from the rink is the Visiting Center stage that was recently visited by Santa to the delight of many of the Town residents and their families. Play areas with toys and games were also set aside for anyone that wanted a little extra fun....and let's not forget the smores! Each year Organizers have been adding new activities to help grow the event and provide family fun and entertainment during the Holiday Season to the Community and visiting Tourists. You can expect to see this Winterfest continue to grow in 2019.

    Travel Plans

    If your looking for a new place to check out during the Christmas Holiday Season you definitely need to put the Hendersonville "Winter Wonderland" on your list. This homespun community has a lot to offer between the Shops, Boutiques, Restaurants on Main Street AND Activities at the Ice Rink! Great Job Hendersonville!!

    By Jim Loughran, PolyGlide Ice
    For additional information call: 855-765-9423