Vancouver Winter Games brings in glad tidings for "Year of Tiger"

15:23, February 26, 2010      

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China's pace to move toward a world sports power has become increasingly forceful. Since the nation reaped most of the gold medals at the 29th Olympics held in Beijing from 8th to 24th August 2008, the excellent performance of Chinese athletes at the current Vancouver Winter Games has given an eloquent proof that China's athletes are in no way inferior to their peers overseas in winter sports events.

Especially the girls of China's short-track speed skating team have grabbed another gold medal in the 3000-meter relay short-track speed-skating final and chalked up the world record on Wednesday night. Earlier, Wang Meng and Zhou Ying of China had won Olympic gold medals in the 500m and 1500m short-track speed-skating events.

In fact, Koreans from the Republic of Korea (ROK) do not have to be upset by the cancellation of their athletes' results as ROK speed skating girls themselves noted in the pre-race prediction that the chance for them to win was slim. In this season's World Cup 3000m relay race, Chinese girls won three out of the four races, and so their victory in Vancouver Games is very real rather than by luck. Hence, it not exaggerate to say that China has outpaced the ROK women's team with an accelerated pace and in an all-round way.

As a matter of course, China's winter sports games – and the ice and snow events in particular, have come up late, and so there is a big gap if compared with the European and American sports powers. But in the ongoing Winter Olympics, however, Chinese athletes have made rapid progress and amazed the world with four gold medals so far reaped at the ongoing Winter Olympics. And people worldwide now witness China's winter and summer sports events taking off side by side with great headway scored in Chinese economy.

In this spring of the "Year of Tiger", the Vancouver Winter Games has foretold an omen because "a year's work hinges on a good start in spring," according to a folk Chinese saying. The Vancouver Games has given people in China one good surprise after another. Of course, they should recognized that, if compared with European and American ice and snow sports powers, there is still a long way to go to catch up with them. The strength and capability of the Chinese in creating miracles would convince the entire world that they are fully capable of accomplishing anything once they exert themselves with non-stop progress.

In the city of Turin, northwestern Italy four years ago, Chinese skating pair Zhang Dan and Zhang Hao had a fall in the figure skating final but Zhang Dan, after only a few-minute treatment, returned to the arena and persisted in the skating race till the finish. The scene struck a deep chord into the minds of audiences, and some 10,000 spectators rose to their feet and applauded him. Seeing this scene, an Italian journalist said to me emotionally that China has moved the world and so its people will fulfill whatever they wish. Four years later today, Chinese athletes have won all championships and runner-ups in the figure skating event.

Along with a giant leap in China's economic growth, skating has become increasingly popular in the country and entered into the "families of ordinary people." According to incomplete statistics, there are currently dozens of ski-slopes on Beijing's outskirts alone; the growing popularity of ice and snow sports has laid a solid foundation for training of more Chinese athletes in the years to come.

The superb performance of Chinese athletes at Vancouver has treated people in China to their grace and elegance via TV programs and other media forecasts. This has in turn inspired more Chinese kids to get closer to the ice and snow sports. Therefore, it is predictable that Chinese athletes would surely perform more and better at the Winter Olympics in years ahead.

As the Vancouver Winter Games is not yet over, Chinese athletes remain hopeful and could be even more promising in the women's ice curling game and 1000m short-track speed skating race. The prowess of the Tiger has, however, been demonstrated since the onset of the lunar "Year of Tiger", so "we're proud of you, the Five-Star Red Flag," as a vivid poetic line of an ace Chinese song sings.

By People's Daily Online and contributed by PD desk editor Chen Zhao
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