SAPPORO, Feb. 17 (Xinhua) -- The eighth Asian Winter Games will kick off on Feb. 19 and following are the five things to know about the Games:
The 8th Asian Winter Games (AWG), which run from Feb. 19 to 26, are an international multi-sport event run by the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) to develop winter sports within its area of coverage. The OCA has 45 member countries and regions in Asia.
The 1st Asian Winter Games, held in Sapporo in 1986, were small in scale and attended only by representatives from East Asian regions where winter sports were already relatively well known. Today, the Games have developed into a large-scale sporting meet attended by athletes from countries and regions across Asia, and have produced significant results toward achieving the OCA's goal of developing winter sports in Asia.
Sapporo and Obihiro.
Hokkaido is located at the northern end of Japan at latitudes similar to those of major cities in the US and Europe.
With a population of over 1.9 million people, Sapporo is the capital and the political, economic and cultural centre of Hokkaido, which is known for its rich natural environment. The city hosted the Winter Olympics in 1972 and is a popular destination for tourists worldwide.
Obihiro is located in the central part of Tokachi (a major agricultural area of eastern Hokkaido), and is home to approximately 170,000 people.
Beyond your ambitions.
This slogan was created with the intent of inspiring athletes and locals alike to pursue their ambitions and make the Games a great success, to share winter aspirations and to move forward toward the achievement of further goals.
The slogan's use of the word ambition - something that Hokkaido residents readily embrace - expresses a public view of the Games as a stepping stone that will help to raise the international profile of the host cities of Sapporo and Obihiro as well as Hokkaido as a whole.
Ezomon. Wrapped up in a red scarf and blue cape, Ezomon is a very special flying squirrel that, in Japan, is only found in Hokkaido.
Games' official theme song:
DREAMS COME TRUE is a Japanese pop duo with close ties to Hokkaido because the band's vocal, Miwa Yoshida, is from the region. This song was chosen as a piece to convey the appeals of the 2017 Sapporo Asian Winter Games and Hokkaido, where the Games will be held, to people at home and abroad.