Please correct us if we are wrong, but looking at the Australian Winter Olympic team, there are no Asian/Asian Aussies at all. FYI – we will stand corrected if there are, so please let us know….In saying that, we will be writing pieces on the achievements coming from Asian athletes in Asia and across the diaspora. Let’s start the first piece honouring the host nation of 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics – China!
Short- track speedskating is a sport which the Chinese have for decades performed extremely well in. As a world ranking China is ranked second in the world, and it has produced many champions. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise to know that the first Gold medal for the host nation came from this sport.
On the first full day of competition, the Chinese team of Wu Dajing, Ren Ziwei, Fan Kexing and Qu Chunyu, who were favourites going into the race, actually almost didn’t make the finals, and only did so because the USA team got penalised for blocking another skater during the race. Where they almost caused a disappointment, they made up in the final by winning the short-track speed skating mixed relay final in a time of 2:37.348.
Here are a few things the team members expressed emotionally at a post-race interview (via Weibo):
Ren Ziwei: These four years have been very hard, really hard. I’ve never thought of experiencing four years that was this full of hardship. I really thank my coach and people around me.I have thought about what to say countless times, but all I can say is that I’m happy.
Wu Dajing: I’ve experienced too many things in these four years. This is this year’s first. I need to cry.
Fan Kexing: My first reaction was that everything that we experienced was worth it, WE DID IT!
If you are interested in following these Chinese athletes, you will see them in upcoming short-track races at these winter games! Keep an eye out!
Images via SCMP, Weibo and Twitter