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Alaska university announces partnership program with China on athletes training

Author  :       Source  :    Xinhua     2018-06-20

Alaska Pacific University (APU) in the northwest U.S. state of Alaska has announced a collaborative Nordic skiing program that will help China train its athletes for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.

APU said in a statement on Friday that its collaboration with China can open new opportunities to learn, which will sharpen its advantage in the next Olympics in China.

The university has discussed with the Chinese side to provide Alaska coaches and skiing facilities at the Thomas Training Center on Eagle Glacier, which is in a spectacular setting 5,000 feet (about 1,520 meters) high in the Chugach Mountains, southeast of Anchorage.

APU President Bob Onders, who visited China on a recent trip with Alaska Governor Bill Walker and 40 Alaska business leaders to the world's second largest economy last month, signed a memorandum of understanding with the Heilongjiang Province Sports Administration in northeast China on sports cooperation.

Representatives from China have visited the Anchorage and Eagle Glacier training grounds since the signing the of the MOU, and more are expected later in the summer, APU said.

"We have always believe that Alaska is the best training environment in the world, with access to the mountains and wilderness. It's fun to see that others around the world see the same," APU quoted coach Erik Flora as saying.

The APU Nordic Ski Center has done something "really unique in getting a traditionally non-Nordic country competitive on the world wide scale," Onders said.

He noted that his trip to China has established some connections in the Asian giant, which "he hopes will bloom into potential internships in China for APU students, as well as an exchange program."

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