From Beijing 2008 to Beijing 2022: China Discovers Winter Sports | Coming of Age

From Beijing 2008 to Beijing 2022: China Discovers Winter Sports | Coming of Age


The change of sports
before and after 2008 – in my opinion sports were competitive
before 2008, and sports have become
part of daily life after 2008. And that is the
significant difference. After the Beijing
Olympic Games, the overall sports
atmosphere in Beijing has undergone huge changes. In the Olympic Forest Park in the evening,
when having a walk one can see many local people
doing exercises there, kicking shuttlecock,
skipping and jogging – all kinds of
exercise activities. We will transform those
Olympic stadiums built in 2008 and use them in 2022. For example, the Water Cube will be turned into an ice rink
for curling competitions. The National Stadium
and Wukesong Stadium will be the venues for the male
and female ice hockey games. We only need to install
some refrigeration equipment. Therefore the cost
won’t be too high. Furthermore, for snow sports large amounts of
private capital are flowing into snow sports. Because snow sports is
a popular sport industry that is closely connected with
tourism, local hotels and the service industry. Therefore, a number of
social or private capital have joined the planning
of ski resorts. So the input of the government
will be much less than before. (COMING OF AGE
CHINA AFTER BEIJING 2008) (GENTING RESORT
ZHANGJIAKOU) (POTENTIAL SITE FOR THE 2022
WINTER OLYMPIC GAMES) (JUST SEVEN YEARS AFTER HOSTING
BEIJING 2008) (CHINA SUCCEEDED IN ITS BID) (TO HOST THE 2022
WINTER OLYMPIC GAMES) (PREPARATIONS ARE NOW UNDERWAY
ACROSS CHINA) (FOR THE NATION’S THIRD
OLYMPIC GAMES IN 14 YEARS) (BEIJING AND THE NEIGHBOURING
CITY OF ZHANGJIAKOU) (ARE BUILDING WINTER SPORTS
FACILITIES AND INFRASTRUCTURE) (TO HOST WHAT
THE GOVERNMENT DESCRIBES (AS A HIGHLY EFFICIENT
WINTER GAMES) (BEIJING 2008 to 2022:) (THE LEGACY CONTINUES
IN WINTER SPORTS) (LOS ANGELES
1984 OLYMPIC GAMES) To recall Chinese
Olympic history, people generally think that
it begins in 1984 when Xu Haifeng won
the first gold medal. But in fact,
the Olympic Committee of China returned to the Olympic family
in 1979. The first Olympic Games
we joined were the 1980 Winter Olympic Games
in Lake Placid. The best place
the China delegation got was 16th place
in speed skating. It was said that for sports
like cross-country skiing, our athletes had not
completed the course by the time the winners
had finished their meals. Back then, our performance
at the Winter Olympics was far from
international standards. From that time on,
our ambition was to win a gold medal
at a Winter Olympic Games. 22 years later, I had
the opportunity to be the one who did that at the Salt Lake
City Winter Olympic Games. I think I’m very lucky to be
the first Chinese person to win a gold medal at
the Winter Olympic Games. By the time I retired in 2006,
I had a new goal. I wanted to open my own
ice skating school. After ice skating for 23 years,
I hoped to have a place where I can pass my skills
on to younger generations. This facility here
in Shanghai is my school. We started to recruit students
in 2013. Now we have our own
short-track speed-skating team. We also have a figure-skating
team and an ice hockey team. They are all
very lovely children. I spend every day with them. I think they are the future of
winter sports of our country. In 2013, we officially
opened to the public. And my school started
recruiting as well. We have an ice hockey team,
a figure-skating team and a short-track
speed-skating team. We are the first and only
professional ice rink in China that is independent
and market-driven. We also have a small
professional team. The members have migrated here
from Heilongjiang province. They have come here because
I hired their coach to be our short-track
speed-skating team coach. So they came here together. As for the dreams of
these children, they are from 12 to 14
which is the right age. And their hope is that
they can have the chance to participate in the
2022 Winter Olympic Games. When we were bidding for 2022,
one of our initiatives that really touched
the committee members was a programme we called 300
Million People on Ice and Snow. Many people in China felt
this idea is not something we normally associate
with winter sports. Because we all know winter
sports have always been concentrated in the three
provinces of northeast China or just Jilin and
Heilongjiang provinces. However, in the bidding for the
Winter Olympic Games this time we proposed this plan. The popularity of winter sports must be extended
beyond northeast China, and reach even further south
than just Beijing. So we have a strategy called “North winter sports spreading
to the South and West”. It means we should develop
winter sports in South China. Even in West China we will
develop winter sports. With such a strategy, local governments throughout
China as well as some private enterprises will understand how the country
is focusing its efforts on winter sports. (QINGDAO, CHINA) (GUOXIN ICE RINK) (SITUATED ON THE EAST COAST
OF CHINA) (QINGDAO WAS NEVER CONSIDERED
A HUB FOR WINTER SPORTS) (THINGS HAVE STARTED SHIFTING (SINCE BEIJING WON
THE BID TO HOST) (THE 2022 OLYMPIC WINTER GAMES) Qingdao is part of the
national strategy that is spreading winter sports
from the north to the south and west. In the past, we only had winter
sports in Northeast China – Jilin, Heilongjiang
and Liaoning. Only they had
professional teams. And most of the team members
were from those provinces. Then the government wanted to
promote mass sports throughout the entire nation. Children and parents in
the south also wanted to participate in winter sports. I think there is lots of fun
in winter sports. It is attractive to children
and their parents. I come from Northeast China. I had been practising
for several years in north-east China. And I heard that there is
a team here, a new team. The coach and leader here
are very kind. The city is also very
attractive. I think Qingdao will surely
become the biggest competitor of the three provinces
in Northeast China. I was watching TV at home. It was showing
the Winter Olympic Games. Then I saw Victor An competing. And after seeing him, he has
become my idol ever since. I felt so excited seeing him. So I wanted to become
a short-track speed skater. The snow sports association
in Qingdao is also preparing to further develop
winter sports in this city, including building more
ski slopes and ice rinks. I think children from the south
will be encouraged. Because now they also have
the opportunity to participate in the Olympic Games. Now it’s possible for them
to represent China to compete. That is the dream of
every child. (CHINA HAS CONTINUED
TO STRIKE GOLD) (AT EVERY OLYMPIC WINTER GAMES
SINCE SALT LAKE CITY 2002) (VANCOUVER 2010 WAS HAILED
A BREAKTHROUGH FOR CHINA) (WITH FIVE GOLD MEDALS) (AND FINISHING SEVENTH
IN THE MEDAL TABLE) (FIGURE SKATING CHAMPION PAIR
ZHAO HONGBO AND SHEN XUE) (IN PARTICULAR BECAME BIG STARS
IN CHINA) (AFTER THEIR HISTORIC WIN
AT VANCOUVER 2010) My most unforgettable memory
was the moment while waiting for the word
“Beijing” to be announced. Maybe it’s because we used to
be figure-skating athletes. We were accustomed to
sitting at the side and waiting for the scores. In the moment Beijing
was announced, it was like we were waiting
for our own scores. When it happened,
many people noticed that I was the first to
jump out of my seat. That was because
I had this habit while waiting for scores
as a figure-skating athlete, and in our minds we were
thinking of “Beijing, Beijing”. The International
Olympic Committee has the honour to announce the host city of the
Olympic Winter Games 2022. Beijing. We have succeeded
in our bid to host the 2022 Winter
Olympic Games. First, it will result in
a new understanding and more participation
in winter sports by Chinese people. Beyond that,
we are intending to host an environmentally friendly
Olympic Games. And we will re-use 2008 Olympic
Games stadiums and venues. For Beijing to host both the Summer
and Winter Olympic Games, it has great significance
for our country. Winter sports are now being
promoted everywhere in China. I believe in 2022 when we host
the Winter Olympic Games, the number of winter sports
participants will reach 300 million. Now, in addition to our top
athletes training intensively, there are also great numbers
of students joining winter sports clubs. After we won the championship in the 2010 Vancouver
Winter Olympic Games, figure-skating clubs all over
China filled with students. And the number of clubs
is increasing exponentially. (AFTER RETIRING IN 2010
ZHAO HONGBO AND SHEN XUE) (HAVE CONTINUED TO PROMOTE
FIGURE SKATING (THROUGHOUT CHINA) (ZHAO HONGBO NOW COACHES) (CHINA’S NATIONAL
FIGURE SKATING TEAM IN BEIJING) (SHUN XUE IS INVOLVED
IN HELPING TO ORGANISE) (THE BEIJING 2022
WINTER OLYMPIC GAMES) After China’s successful bid
for the 2022 Winter Olympics, figure skating will
get more support financially and technically. And there is a growing
emphasis on both the artistic and technical
aspects of training. Of course there’s pressure in hosting our first
Winter Olympic Games. I certainly hope my athletes can stand on
the highest podium. Now I’m trying to build a team. From the couples amongst
my team members I hope to make them the world’s
best figure skating team. We are trying our best
to be the best, in order to win medals at
the 2022 Winter Olympic Games. Zhao Hongbo, our coach,
inspired us in many ways, from our performance to the communication
between the two of us. As well as how to magnify
your feelings on the ice, and influence both the judges
and the audience. The most important thing
he has taught us is how to be professional
athletes. And he’s done this by relating many of his own
personal experiences. It has actually saved us
a lot of career detours. So we can reach our goal
faster, with less setbacks. For athletes, training methods,
training systems and equipment have all greatly improved
since 2008. We have gradually realised
the importance of reasonable and systematic
training. (THEY ARE CURRENTLY CHINA’S
TOP FIGURE SKATING PAIR) We have studied
choreography overseas. And we have seen how foreign
athletes train every day. How they balance their
food nutrition every day, how many hours they train
each day and what equipment they use
to help them train. I think this is the biggest
improvement for us since 2008. I think we do our best
every day, and improve every day. Then we can realise our dreams at the 2018 Winter
Olympic Games. For us, I think we care more
about enjoying the process of the competition. People’s attitude towards
sports has changed, because our country
is changing. We hope that both Chinese
people and foreigners understand that this isn’t just
about pursuing gold medals. It’s about enjoying
the extraordinary and exhilarating moments
of our lives. And I think this is
the beauty of sports. If an athlete has good scores
at the Olympic Games or wins an Olympic gold medal, it’s very helpful for
promoting this sport. Because winning
Olympic gold medal… For example, because
Shen Xue and Zhao Hongbo won figure-skating gold medal
at 2010 Vancouver Olympics, more people became interested
in figure skating. It becomes a focus for people. We worked together
with them producing Amazing on Ice, which is a figure-skating
roadshow. We invited their friends,
who are also Olympic figure-skating gold medallists, to be art directors, showing their own
interpretations of figure skating and touring in China. I believe in the next six years and by 2022, there will be more people more
familiar with winter sports, with their histories, and be more interested in
winter sports. Because in China, many people
have never skied or skated once for their entire lives, and many people have never
watched skiing or ice skating before. And thanks to Beijing 2022 I believe winter sports
will have gained tens of millions of fans
and participants. I think by having Beijing
to be the host city for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games, the International Olympic
Committee has made a good decision. Because by having this
Olympic Games, it will really affect hundreds
of millions of people, and have this many people
start to like winter sports. If we describe Beijing 2008 as
a Summer Olympic Games baptism, I believe that the 2022 Beijing
Winter Olympics Games will be a winter sports baptism with
even greater effects. (COMING OF AGE
CHINA AFTER BEIJING 2008)

13 Replies to “From Beijing 2008 to Beijing 2022: China Discovers Winter Sports | Coming of Age”

  1. I'm a speed skater for my state in Australia and will join the national team when I reach the right age to compete overseas. My goal is currently the 2022 winter Olympic Games. I was inspired to take up short track when I was small, and I saw the speed skaters on televisions in the Vancouver 2010 games. I wanted to skate just as fast as them and be the best in the world. So I took it up, trained hard, and got to where I am. I was happy when I saw the Chinese boy talking about watching the olympics and being inspired, because that is exactly how I started out. Speed skating is a very very small sport in Australia, but has grown after Steven Bradbury's win in 2002. I hope one day that many kids in Australia will take up winter and ice sports, and grow from a very summer orientated sports nation, into one where we play more winter sports too.

  2. Let us not forget how the venues turned into a dump from the 2008 games. That's likely what will happen with these as well

  3. pois aqui no Brasil as coisas mudaram pra pior depois do Rio 2016. o país, vergonhosamente, mergulhou, a olhos vistos, em corrupção. o legal o olímpico virou elefante branco. agora me digam: pra que olimpíadas nesse país??? melhor matar a fome do povo e dar educação a um povo tão necessitado.

  4. they should of chosen Harbin or another northern city with real snow, whoever thought this was a good idea is crazy.

  5. For those people who argue that Beijing doesn't have enough snow in the winter, here is the reason why Beijing is selected for Winter Olympic. Because if the Olympic is in Beijing, we don't need to rebuild new stadium for ice-staking and other in-door winter Olympic facility, thus avoiding put too much money into the project which often cause the so-called "Olympic trap". Beijing is the logical choice for winter olympic.

  6. So,Here is the question!

    This Chinese's woman first gold medalist in salt lake 2002 futurelly will light the cauldron of olympic winter games in Beijing 2022

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