xi's moments
Home | Society

Winter sports are finally coming in from the cold

By CUI JIA | China Daily | Updated: 2023-01-30 09:06

Cui Jia (right) stands with Olympic Games torch bearer Dinigeer Yilamujiang after an interview in Chongli, Hebei province.

On Jan 1, I returned to the white-capped mountains in Chongli, Hebei province, where the snow events of the 2022 Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games were held about a year ago.

As I stood at the top of a slope in the Genting Snow Park and prepared to ride my snowboard, the memories started to flood back.

As a reporter covering both Games, I watched the legendary Shaun White from the United States take a bow after finishing his final half-pipe performance as a professional snowboarder, and as 18-year-old Su Yiming rocked the men's snowboard slopestyle event in front of his home crowd.

More importantly, I truly understood how snow sports have transformed the lives of people with disabilities and boosted their confidence. Seeing them in action was such a treat and so inspiring.

As a snowboarding enthusiast, I can now fully enjoy the legacy of the Games, such as more convenient transportation from Beijing to ski resorts in Chongli, improved facilities and better courses.

In the Genting Snow Park, the well-designed Games' competition venues for the half-pipe, cross and moguls events are open to the public, giving enthusiasts the opportunity to taste life as a Winter Olympian.

In the first post-Games snow season, people have found that getting onto the piste is easier and more pleasant than ever. Also, they no longer need to worry about COVID-19 control measures.

One of the key goals of hosting the Games was to get more Chinese involved in ice and snow sports. As ski resorts around the country are packed with people, I believe the mission has been accomplished.

I also noticed that more children have started skiing or snowboarding at an early age as facilities have become more accessible and affordable in recent few years.

Don't be fooled by their cuteness, though, because some are already highly experienced.

As I cruised down the advanced course, I spotted a child in a red helmet who rode beautifully. Even the sharp curves didn't slow him down. I gave him a thumbs-up at the end of the course and he gave me a fist bump in return.

The 9-year-old Beijinger, nicknamed Duoduo, has been snowboarding since he was 5. Su is his idol, so Duoduo followed all his events during the Beijing Games.

When I told him that I attended the Games as a reporter, I saw the envy in his eyes. Now, though, I envy him because I knew very little about skiing or snowboarding when I was his age.

On Feb 16 last year, the Winter Olympian — the official English newspaper of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics published by China Daily — used Su's picture on the front page after he won gold at the men's snowboard big air event. The headline read, "Birth of the Superstar."

Well, I believe a super generation of snow sport athletes has been born in China. Just wait until they grow up!

Global Edition
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349