OTTAWA, Feb. 9 (Xinhua) -- The first World Club Crew Ice Dragon Boat Championships (WCCIC) of International Ice Dragon Boat Federation (IIDBF) was held Saturday in Dows Lake, Ottawa.
Altogether 125 teams are competing during the championships, a main part of the 2019 Ottawa Ice Dragon Boat Festival, against a temperature as low as minus 16 degrees celsius in the presence of thousands of people.
The teams are from Britain, Canada, China, Hungary, Ireland, New Zealand, South Korea, Ukraine and the United States.
"It has really become one of the largest and the most appealing winter events in the world," said Chinese Ambassador to Canada Lu Shaye, adding that cultural exchange leads to deep contact between countries and peoples.
The Chinese Embassy in Ottawa has been supporting the serial championships since its inception in 2017.
"It was amazing. Everybody's having fun," Ivan Chase from Salt Lake City of the United States told Xinhua.
The ice dragon boat sport, which requires great skill and finesse, could be on the roster of the 2022 Winter Olympics in China, IIDBF Chairman Luo Zhongyi told Xinhua.
With the help of IIDBF, the official organization dedicated to spreading and developing the game worldwide, Ottawa held ice dragon boat competitions in February 2017 and February 2018, with the latter attracting 1150 teams. This year's match was named under the title of "World Club Crew" for the first time.
Due to its peculiar weather pattern, Ottawa has been the site of North America's largest annual dragon-boat festivals for nearly a quarter century. Based on a Chinese tradition dating back to almost two millenniums ago, the game was meant for competition on water. Thanks to IIDBF's efforts, it is now done on ice in Ottawa.