I'd like to see people skating on Shanghai's Huangpu River, says Yao Ming

(Xinhua) 08:26, January 18, 2022

BEIJING, Jan. 17 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) President Yao Ming expressed his passion and love for winter sports during a forum with journalists here on Monday.

Yao, who is also a winter sports promotion ambassador for Beijing 2022, started the forum with his trademark sense of humor. "I want to skate but am having a hard time finding gear that fits me," quipped Yao, who stands 2.26-meter tall.

A Shanghai native, Yao didn't see much snow or ice during his childhood. However, the Chinese basketball legend was a presenter during Beijing's bid for the 2022 Games in 2015. Honored but hesitating at the invitation, he recalled how he was inspired to assume the role by China's Olympic journey, with the country sending its first athlete in 1932, winning its first Olympic gold medal in 1984, and hosting the 2008 Olympics.

"Everything has gone from unfamiliar to familiar," said Yao. "We have been through a long journey."

Discussing the preparations for the Winter Olympics, Yao said that all preparatory work has been well organized despite the lingering threat of COVID-19. He added that he was especially looking forward to the ice hockey competitions, and mentioned Wu Dajing and Gu Ailing as China's medal hopefuls.

Asked about the biggest concern for Beijing 2022, Yao said he was afraid that the weather may be too cold for spectators. "However, the cold weather can be a benefit for the Games. It's the cold that makes the Games a 'Winter' Olympics."

In the end, Yao expressed hopes that Beijing 2022 would be a big success, and also spoke of his "winter dreams".

"I hope to see people skating on the Huangpu River in Shanghai. Beijing has Big Air Shougang, and we should bring one to Shanghai as well, maybe on the Oriental Pearl Tower," he said. 

(Web editor: Xia Peiyao, Liang Jun)


Related Stories