Vietnam’s first Winter Games team trains on... sand

By VnExpress   February 7, 2017 | 12:29 am PT
Vietnam’s first Winter Games team trains on... sand
Vietnamese snowboarder in training for the 8th Asian Winter Games. Photo by the General Department of Sports and Physical Training
The country's snowless climate hasn’t stopped Vietnamese athletes from preparing for the Asian Winter Games.

Vietnam will parcipitate at the Asian Winter Games for the first time ever later this month, according to Vietnam's General Department of Sports and Physical Training.

The country will send six athletes to one of the biggest sporting events in Asia to compete in alpine skiing, cross-country skiing and snowboarding, said Mai Ba Hung, a senior sports official in Ho Chi Minh City who will lead the Vietnamese team to the eighth Asian Winter Games in Japan.

Athletes from 32 Asian countries and territories will compete for medals in alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, freestyle skiing, ski jumping, snowboarding, figure skating, short-track speed skating, speed skating, hockey, curling and the biathlon.

It's worth noting that to get themselves ready for the Games, Vietnamese snowboarders and skiers have been training for the past three months on the sand dunes that surround the beach resort town of Mui Ne in the southern province of Binh Thuan.

The 2017 Asian Winter Games will be held in Japan’s Sapporo and Obihiro from February 19 to 26.

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