Skip to main content

25 May 2021

WorldSkills flag returns to Shanghai after Antarctic expedition

The flag of the 46th WorldSkills Competition, which set sail on board China's Xuelong 2 icebreaker in November 2020, has returned to Shanghai.

The flag of the 46th WorldSkills Competition has returned to Shanghai with the Xuelong 2 icebreaker after finishing the country’s 37th trip and the ship’s first independent Antarctic expedition.

A ceremony was held in Shanghai to celebrate its successful return, where the flag was handed over to the WorldSkills Shanghai 2022 Executive Bureau.

The flag was given by the bureau to the expedition team when Xuelong 2, translated as “Snow Dragon 2”, set sail from its home port in Shanghai on 10 November 2020. It returned this month after sailing more than 36,000 nautical miles.

The ship, with a length of 122.5 meters and a breadth of 22.3 meters, is China’s first domestically built polar icebreaker and also the first of its kind in the world to be built with a dual directional hull and bow, allowing it to break ice in either direction.

Construction began at the end of 2016 at the Jiangnan Shipyard in Shanghai. It took more than 300 days and nights with over 3,000 workers using 2,541 steel plates based on 8,736 design drawings.

In January, the vessel entered Antarctica and made stops at China’s Zhongshan Station and Great Wall Station, where the expedition team members flew the flag of WorldSkills Shanghai 2022. They also extended an invitation to the world to take part in the event set to take place in Shanghai on 12–17 October 2022.

The trip was another occasion for the WorldSkills flag to arrive in an extreme environment, demonstrating the spirit of pursuing extreme excellence in artisanship and a wish for all competitors in the WorldSkills Competition to create miracles with their excellent skills.

On 27 May 2020, a team of intrepid Chinese mountaineers took the flag to the highest place on Earth — the summit of Mount Everest.

A series of activities under the theme – “Keep the light of skills on for WorldSkills Competition” – were launched at the flag reception ceremony to promote the 46th WorldSkills Competition.

With the light of skills starting from Shanghai and reaching out to other cities in China and abroad, the organizers aim to promote the WorldSkills Competition and respect for skills and artisanship among young people all over the world.

Online activities will be organized on social media, where users will be invited to submit photos and videos about landmarks, skill programs, mascots and other materials related to the competition in the run up to the event.

Students aged 8 to 16 years old were recruited as ambassadors to promote the Competition among their peers. They escorted the event flag at the ceremony and will promote the event in schools and communities as well as be commentators during the Competition.