POSTED: Saturday July 11th 2015

5th Annual "Artistry on Ice" Heats up Excitement for Beijing 2022

This year's Artistry on Ice played to sold-out crowds at Beijing's Wukesong Centre ©Beijing 2022
This year's Artistry on Ice played to sold-out crowds at Beijing's Wukesong Centre ©Beijing 2022

Shen Xue with her daughter at this year’s Artistry on Ice ©Beijing 2022
Shen Xue with her daughter at this year’s Artistry on Ice ©Beijing 2022

Chen Penbin at this year’s Artistry on Ice ©Beijing 2022
Chen Penbin at this year’s Artistry on Ice ©Beijing 2022

Beijing, July 11 - The fifth annual “Artistry on Ice” figure skating festival was hosted Friday evening at Wukesong Sports Centre, proposed as one of the Beijing 2022 venues, and featured such world-class figure skaters as Beijing 2022 Bid Ambassadors Shen Xue and Zhao Hongbo, Russia’s Olympic champion Adelina Sotnikova, and the crowd favorite “Lady Gaga on Ice” US skater Johnny Weir, among many others. The festival is the latest to date among an increasing number of public events dedicated to further enhancing an already wide-spread public support behind the Beijing 2022 bid that have been popping up in Beijing, Zhangjiakou as well as all over the country with the impending 2022 Host City Election.

This global all-star figure skating team performed some of their classic numbers for the packed crowds in Beijing: U.S. Olympic champion team Meryl Davis and Charlie White delivered on their hit number “Say Something,” while Swiss Olympic medalist Stephane Lambiel wowed with his world-famous spins. Also making appearances was Canadian legend Kurt Browning - referred to in China as “little clown” - and recent Men’s singles World Champion Javier Fernandez, whose hilarious and classic number “Aerobic Class” (which was also performed at the Sochi Olympic Games Closing Ceremony) had his Chinese fans out of their seats and mimicking his work-outs.

Joining the team of figure skating stars was China’s own Forrest Gump Chen Penbin. Over the past 100 days, Chen Penbin has been fulfilling his pledge to run 100 marathons in support of Beijing and Zhangjiakou’s Bid. For Mr. Chen, the final stop on his “100 Challenge” was the Artistry on Ice festival: After entering the sports centre, the marathon champion passed on a letter with signatures of runners along the routes of his 100-day journey wishing Beijing 2022 good fortune to the Vice Mayor of Beijing and Vice President of Beijing 2022 Bid Committee Zhang Jiandong.

Describing his incredible experience to the audience, Mr. Chen addressed the crowds: “Having spent the past 100 days running across this country in support of Beijing 2022, I have witnessed firsthand the widespread excitement behind the bid that is felt not just in Beijing and Zhangjiakou, but all the way south to Shanghai, Guangzhou and the countless cities and villages in between!”

For the past five years, Artistry on Ice has been a labor of love for organizers including the Chinese Skating Association and two of its key members, Beijing 2022 bid ambassadors Shen Xue and Zhao Hongbo, the first Chinese figure skaters to win Olympic gold for their country. The two figure skaters share a personally significant relationship with the Artistry on Ice event: Right after achieving their dream of winning gold at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, Zhao and Shen consecrated their relationship of 18 years by getting married at the inaugural Artistry on Ice event, turning it into a “Wedding on Ice.”

This year’s festival marked the first time that the couple’s child Xiao Xiao Xue was old enough to join her parents on the ice, along with a number of other small children who were selected as part of a video contest on Chinese social media. “Seeing the happiness that figure skating has brought my own child, as well as all of the other little friends out here tonight,” Shen Xue said to the packed audiences of Wukesong, “gives me hope that we can use Artistry on Ice festival as a channel to spread the magic of ice sports across China, just as we have the past year with the Beijing 2022 bid.”

Speaking in honor of Artistry on Ice’s 5th birthday, Zhao Yinggang, Deputy Secretary-General of Beijing 2022 Bid Committee and former Head of Winter Sports at the General Administration of Sport of China said the event has successfully “provided China’s winter sports fans with a glimpse of a top-tier international event whose exciting atmosphere matches the buzz Beijing is currently experiencing as the city bids for a Winter Olympics.”
After describing Artistry on Ice’s increasing popularity over the years, including the fact that this year’s event was a sold-out performance, Mr. Zhao continued: “Figure Skating is one of the most popular events in the Winter Olympics, and it enjoys many fans all over the world. Given the popularity and development of Artistry On Ice has seen all over China, we can all expect a magnificent sight to behold at [Beijing 2022 figure skating venue] Capital Indoor Stadium should the Winter Olympics be awarded to Beijing!”
Friday night’s performance was but one stop on the Artistry on Ice circuit, which kicked off at Taipei on July 8th, and then will go on to Shanghai on the 11th before ending its four-city tour in Shenzhen on the 12th.
Click here for a commemorative video celebrating the past five years of Artistry on Ice.

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Keywords · Olympics · Beijing 2022 · Paralympics · Artistry on Ice

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