CHANGCHUN, NE China, Jan. 4 (Xinhua) -- Vasaloppet festival, a Nordic winter game originated from Sweden, has seen its participants by folds in recent years after 11 years.
With only 200 participants in its inaugural year in 2003, the festival attracted more than 10,000 athletes from 31 countries and regions as well as thousands more ski fans this year. It was reported that about 50,000 people come to train here each year as Vasaloppet festival has gradually been gaining popularity these years.
"I have skied here for four years and I noticed that the citizens taking part in the game increase annually while the audiences grow in number, " said Anders Hogberg from Sweden who successfully defended his men's 52.5km classic skiing title on Wednesday in the Changchuan stage of FIS season while China's Chen Shuang triumphed in the women's category.
In the meantime, the city of Changchun benefits from the festival.
Guan Shusen, president of Vasaloppet festival, said the festival had served as a name card for the city of Changchun.
"European Broadcasting Union broadcast the feature of Vasaloppet China in more than 40 European countries yearly," he said. "The festival is like a window of Changchun."