Saturday, February 13, 2010

China's Medal Hopes in Vancouver

There was a lot of anticipation of who would be the final torchbearer to light the flame for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games at BC Place stadium. But when people like Rick Hansen, Betty Fox, Terry Fox's mother, and Nancy Greene Raine already carried the torch, there was no question it would be The Great One, Wayne Gretzy.
 
The Opening Ceremony didn't come nearly as close as the amazing display put on by the Chinese in August 2008, but who can top the precision of the drummers, Li Ning flying in the air to light to torch and the fantastic fireworks display?
 
Following that, all you can do is just focus on doing something truly Canadian.
 
There were the northern lights, the spirit bear, whales, Donald Sutherland, Bryan Adams, kd lang, Nelly Furtado and Measha Brueggergosman.
 
While all eyes are on the 206 Canadian athletes looking to win gold on home soil, something that has evaded them in two Olympics -- in Calgary and Montreal -- there's also anticipation the Chinese team is going to win big too.
 
In the 2006 Turin Games, China won 11 medals, including two gold, four silver and five bronze.
 
The Chinese figure skating pairs look hot this year, led by veterans Shen Xue and Zhao Hongbo who came out of retirement just for this Olympics. The three Chinese pairs are coached by Yao Bin, who, in the 1980 World Championships and the 1984 Games was booed and laughed at for his and his partner's crude attempts to compete in figure skating. They had no video footage -- only pictures -- on which to try to create their own routine that was seen as elementary at best.
 
But 30 years later, China could sweep the podium and prove to the world that with determination (and money), anything's possible.
 
Also the Chinese women's curling team is on a roll, with skip Wang Bingyu. They are coached by Canadian Dan Rafael.
 
The freestyle skiing team is also coached by Canadian Dustin Wilson, who trains them in Inner Mongolia. He works with former gymnasts and martial arts practitioners who can twist and jump easily in the air. While they may not have the culture of hanging out in the slopes apres ski, they do know they want gold. They already have proof in Han Xiaopeng, who won gold in men's aerials. Li Nina is also a favourite for the women's aerials.
 
China has brought 90 athletes to Vancouver, it's largest contingent ever for the Winter Olympic Games. And though they are not loudly proclaiming they intend to surpass 11 medals, it's quite sure they are determined to go faster, higher, stronger.
 
 
 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I kinda have been expecting this in a way...
But I reali dun think da world is going to end...start a new era maybe but the world is not ending.
That's not gonna happen till a thousand years later! Ok, I'm not sure bout that either but that's not the point! The world's not gonna end! Full stop!
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