CHINA Podcast: Story in the Story (8/27/2019 Tue.)

CHINA

Podcast: Story in the Story (8/27/2019 Tue.)

People's Daily app

00:55, August 27, 2019

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From the People's Daily app.

And this is Story in the Story.

Chinese athletes will try to qualify for every sporting event at the 2022 Beijing Olympic Games.

Right now, there are more than 3,300 athletes training in the national team, compared with 300 in the previous Winter Games.

At the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics, China sent 82 athletes, 36 men, and 46 women. In the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, Chinese athletes competed in only 45 events.

The central government aims to raise the number of winter sports participants in China to 300 million by 2022 and estimates the value of the winter sports industry will reach 1 trillion yuan ($149 billion) by 2025.

And as the host nation of the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing, China hopes to reap more than five gold medals, and for the first time ever, it is aiming to compete in all 109 events.

Today’s Story in the Story looks at how China is assembling its national team for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.1.jpg

China has more than 3,300 athletes training in the national team, comparing that number to a little more than 300 preparing for the previous Games. (Photo: IC)

Gu Ailing was born in 2003 in Los Angeles, California. Her father is an American, and mother is Chinese. Gu started skiing when she was 3 years old and had been competing for the US in international events since the start of the 2017 season.

Gu became a naturalized Chinese citizen this summer so she can compete for Team China at the 2020 Winter Olympics in Beijing.

On June 7th, Gu announced her naturalization as a Chinese citizen on her Instagram account. "I have decided to compete for China in the upcoming 2022 Winter Olympics," read the post.

I hope to promote ties between the Chinese and US people via X-sports, the Chinese American girl said on her Sina Weibo account.

Fluent in Chinese, Gu calls herself a Beijing girl and gets confused when people ask her why she speaks Chinese so well.

“I've never had a Chinese language class. Do I need to learn Chinese? Shouldn't it be something inside me?" said Gu.

"China is a very beautiful country with a lot of nice people, interesting things and delicious food. It is like going home," Gu said in a video when she was 14.

"Ever since I can remember, I've always thought about coming back to Beijing to play and eat every year," Gu said. "I don't remember my first time coming back to Beijing, but it's a part of my life."

Skiing has always been a hobby for the high school student rather than a profession. Gu does not spend too much time on the sport. 

Gu became champion of the junior group of the USA Snowboard and Freeski Association (USASA) when she was 9 and entered the adult group when she was 13. 

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Eileen Gu executes a midair jump at the FIS Free Ski World Cup 2019 Slopestyle Event in Seiser Alm on January 25. (Photo: VCG)

The day before an event at Salt Lake City, which was also Gu's first competition in the adult group, she became sick and suffered from a severe sore throat. 

The website of the US Ski and Snowboard team shows that Gu won the USASA Freeski National Championships in eight of the nine events she competed in.

By the end of last season, Gu had won more than 50 gold medals, boosting her chances of competing in major events such as the Olympic Games.

Gu had set herself an initial goal in preparation for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games, which was to graduate after completing two years of high school in just one year.

"The nearest ski resort is four hours' drive from where I live now. If I can graduate from high school next year, I will spend more time on my training to better prepare for the games," Gu said.

According to Gu's mother, the school Gu attends is one of the best high schools in Los Angeles. If she graduates next year, she will become the first student in the school's history to complete two years of courses in one year.

"I will go to college since study is very important," Gu said, detailing her plans after the 2022 Beijing Olympic Games. “At that time, skiing will be my hobby again."

Gu is currently going through training in New Zealand and plans to go to Europe next. Meanwhile, she is also trying to get into the Olympic Games.

"No one wants to be last in the Olympic Games, but there's no way for me to take the gold medal without making a single effort," she joked.

(Produced by Nancy Yan Xu, Lance Crayon, Brian Lowe, and Paris Yelu Xu. Music by: bensound.com. Text from China Daily and Global Times.)


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