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体坛英语亚博国际:A moment of pride and joy: Chinese delegation raises national flag at Winter Games

Source: Xinhuanet    2018-02-13  我要投稿   论坛   Favorite  

PYEONCHANG, Feb. 7 (Xinhua) -- As the rhythmic beating of a blue moon-shaped Korean drum grew faster and stronger, resounding through the newly-built athletes village of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics in Gangneung, Zhao Hongbo noticed that the rhythm mirrored that of his own heartbeat.

"The drumbeat sounded for the battle. Our Olympic journey has officially begun now," said the head coach of the Chinese figure skating team, who is here with another some 60 members of Chinese delegation, mainly skaters, for the flag-raising ceremony on Wednesday morning.

The 40-minute ceremony began with a drum performance, followed by a welcome speech by the athletes village chief and an exchange of gifts between Gou Zhongwen, Chef de Mission of the Chinese delegation and the village chief.

China has sent a 181-strong delegation, including 82 athletes, to the PyeongChang Games, the biggest of its kind since the Vancouver Games, said Gao Zhidan, deputy Chef de Mission, adding that the top priority of the athletes is to learn more from other athletes in PyeongChang.

Unlike its powerhouse status in summer Olympics that was demonstrated as it topped the gold medal table at Beijing 2008, China had not won a winter Olympic title untill the Salt Lake City Games in 2002. As the host nation of next edition Winter Games in 2022, China plans to plant the seeds of winter sporting success in PyeongChang.

Zhao, a four-time Olympian who paired with his now-wife Shen Xue to win China's first figure skating Olympic gold medal in Vancouver 2010, is no stranger to such ceremonies, but the 44-year-old man was still overcame with excitement as two men, dressed in traditional Korean warrior costumes, raised the red Chinese national flag into the sky.

"Surely, it's a moment of pride and honor, singing the national anthem and watching the national flag rising into the sky, especially on foreign land. I hope I can see the scene again in the ice ring," said Zhao.

"The mission of my team, also my dream in PyeongChang, is for athletes to be able to enjoy the Games, showing their best and preparing for the Beijing Games," he said.

Composed and relaxed, Wu Dajing, twice winner in the short track speed skating men's 500m in the World Cup series this season, enjoys the ceremony and is eager for the competition.

"I enjoyed the life in the village and I met some of my opponents. They are also my old friends," the silver medalist in Sochi Games said.

"For me, the Winter Olympics is just the same as the World Cup series and the World Championships. The opponents are the same, and the competition format is also the same. So, [I will] just relax," he added.

In a fiery mix of twanging hip-hop music with relentless drumming, the ceremony came to its apex as hip-hop dancers wearing traditional Korean figure mask battled with drummers of Janggu, a traditional Korean hourglass drum, with a lot of acrobatic popping, breaking and locking.

Cast the pressure to win medals side, the Chinese delegation members joined the dancers and volunteers, hand in hand, dancing in a circle.

"It's a wonderful mixture of tradition and modern pop cultures. These ceremonies are always good opportunities to demonstrate the culture of the host country. Shouldn't we give it a try four years later? " said Zhao.


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