Athletes warm up for 2022 Games

Updated 2018-02-09 13:45:06 China Daily

Chinese athletes and coaches dance to Korean pop music following a flag-raising ceremony ahead of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang on Wednesday. (FENG YONGBIN/CHINA DAILY)

China's ambition to get its winter sports into the athletic mainstream by 2022 will see a major test in Pyeongchang, with learning over winning setting the tone for the country's athletes at the 2018 Winter Olympics.

As the Olympic flame lights the cauldron at the Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium on Friday night, the Chinese delegation and everyone involved in winter sports in China have kicked off a race to not only perform well in the eastern South Korean city but to develop athletic prowess and mass participation in winter sports by the time of the Beijing 2022 Olympics and beyond.

The Chinese delegation, which includes 82 athletes in 55 events across five sports, has been fully prepared after pre-Games acclimation to deliver their best performance in Pyeongchang while learning from the world's best.

"We will try our hardest to win more glory in Pyeongchang, but we are still a newcomer with a relatively weak foundation in many winter sports compared with international powers," said Gao Zhidan, deputy head of the Chinese delegation and a deputy director of the General Administration of Sport of China.

"Our goal is to learn from international elites side-by-side, but we won't give up any chance to fight for medals. The world is going to see strong Chinese athletes physically and mentally," he said.

Having built world-class teams on ice in short-track speed skating, figure skating and curling, China has been focusing on expanding its strength to more events, especially in snow sports, through some progressive reforms in athletic development, which are expected to be assessed in Pyeongchang.

Chinese athletes will make their Winter Olympics debuts in Pyeongchang in 10 events, such as bobsled, skeleton and ski jumping, having made solid progress in these new disciplines with the help of foreign coaches and trainers.

Even without sliding tracks at home, China's bobsled and skeleton team has made its way to Pyeongchang to race in three events after training mainly in Europe and Canada since its establishment in 2015.

"Many fans may still not recognize our name given the short history of our sport in the country. We are trying to win the recognition in Pyeongchang and shine in Beijing," said Geng Wenqiang, China's lone entry in skeleton in Pyeongchang.

Although setting no official medal goals, the Chinese delegation expects to win gold in the short-track and figure skating rinks, as well as the freestyle ski jump.

World champion figure skating pair Sui Wenjing and Han Cong, men's skater Wu Dajiang in the 500m race, and freestyle aerials world champion Xu Mengtao are among the brightest gold medal hopes of China's young delegation.

Also in the News

Nicole Kidman Recalls Oscar Glory: Loneliest Time
Showbiz2016/06/16 13:58September 24 2018 12:04:50

Nicole Kidman Recalls Oscar Glory: Loneliest Time

Attending Shanghai International Film Festival, Nicole Kidman talks about her role in "Grace of Monaco".

Labor Day Travel Peak Starts
Also in the News2014/05/01 12:16September 24 2018 12:04:50

Labor Day Travel Peak Starts

Johnny Depp Delivers a Speech 'Evolve the Future' in 'Transcendence'
Also in the News2014/04/18 13:18September 24 2018 12:04:50

Johnny Depp Delivers a Speech 'Evolve the Future' in 'Transcendence'

Hollywood star Johnny Depp's speech in the upcoming new film "Transcendence" has been disclosed on Friday, April 11th.

News:
China World Business Sports Showbiz Audio
Video:
C4 My Chinese Life The Sound Stage China Revealed Showbiz Video Travel Video
Photos:
China World Fun Travel Entertainment Sports
Travel:
Beijing Shanghai Guangzhou
Lifestyle:
Live Music Opera & Classical Movies Traditional Shows Exhibitions
Learn Chinese:
Chinese Studio Living Chinese Everyday Chinese Just For Fun Chinese Culture Buzzwords