Cover There are lots of opportunities available for those who wish to learn the ancient sport of curling in Hong Kong

Who needs snow? In the spirit of the Beijing Winter Olympics, try everything from curling to skiing without leaving Hong Kong

Hong Kong’s lack of snow doesn’t mean all winter sports are out of the question. Here’s where you can get a taste of some of the events that will feature in the forthcoming Winter Olympic Games in Beijing.

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Skiing and snowboarding

While the slopes of Aspen or Niseko are off-limits to most this year due to travel difficulties, there are several centres in Hong Kong that offer a simulated skiing or snowboarding experience, meaning skiers can maintain their muscle memory, technique, strength and fitness for when real snow-capped peaks beckon once more. Slope Infinity in Fortress Hill uses a large revolving carpet, or deck, to emulate slopes, while SkiTech in Wong Chuk Hang employs a virtual reality-linked machine to imitate the feel and sights of a slalom.

In the meantime, stock up on ski supplies at Fun ’N Snow in Sheung Wan, or try Sandy Ip’s The Ski Project or Patricia Tung-Gaw’s Ferastyle for more luxurious apparel.

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Shooting

The Winter Games features the biathlon, an event that comprises skiing and rifle shooting. Unrestricted firearms and ammunition require a licence in Hong Kong, thankfully, but the city has several venues where you can legally fire off rounds. The Hong Kong Gun Club in Tsuen Wan has 25- and 50-metre ranges for pistol and rifle events, plus two shotgun ranges for skeet and trap shooting. Additionally, there’s Gun Range Zero in Kwun Tong for airsoft, while the South China Athletic Association in Causeway Bay has an Olympic-standard range for target air rifle and pistol shooting with computerised equipment.

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Ice sports

Until 2018, the city had only sent speed skaters to the Winter Olympic Games. There are seven licensed public skating ice rinks across the city. For those with a penchant for gliding across frozen water, there is a surprisingly good choice of places to train; most rinks are attached to malls for easy access.

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Sock a puck around next to a defunct rollercoaster in a peculiar old shopping centre at the Sky Rink; learn to skate holding a penguin stabiliser at Elements’ very shiny The Rink; perform artistry on ice and learn to figure skate at the DB Ice Rink; try out (or just watch) a thrilling short track speed skating race at The Glacier in Festival Walk; and even get your well-worn skates sharpened at the eco-friendly Lohas Rink, the first in Hong Kong to use a non-toxic CO2 chiller plant system. The Hong Kong Skating Union is a brilliant resource, offering information, news and updates on all things figure and speed skating-related, while the Hong Kong Ice Hockey Association has you covered for this dynamic (and slightly intimidating) sport.

Curling

For the right kind of person, sliding a heavy stone across the ground can be very meditative. Although none of its members have yet made it to the Olympics, Hong Kong boasts an active curling community that hosts multilingual meets, training sessions and taster days. John Li, founding president of the Hong Kong Curling Association, describes the event as a “precision sport which requires a unique combination of strength, teamwork and strategy”. Due to competition for ice space, floor curling, which only requires a flat surface, has emerged in recent years as a sport that can be practised anywhere.

Find paraphernalia, including stones, brooms and shoes, at local retailer JustCurl.


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