Which Chinese Athletes Have a Shot at Gold at Beijing 2022?

Since the turn of the century, China has never finished lower than third in the Summer Olympics medals table. In the Winter Games, however, it has been a different story.The country’s best-ever result was a seventh-place finish at Salt Lake City in 2010, when four of its five gold medals came in the same event:…

For the reason that flip of the century, China has by no system done lower than third in the Summer Olympics medals desk. In the Winter Video games, on the synthetic hand, it has been a tell legend.

The country’s most attention-grabbing-ever end result used to be a seventh-function stay at Salt Lake City in 2010, when four of its five gold medals got right here in the an identical tournament: brief track speedskating. In 2018, China won handiest one gold — every other time in the brief track — and done 16th in the medals desk.

However the 2022 version of Crew China is in a tell league to its predecessors. Booming grassroots participation in cold climate sports actions, mixed with massive verbalize abet, has produced a team of both energy and depth for China’s first dwelling Winter Olympics. There’s a long way more to this squad than wide title skier Eileen Gu. 

China’s sports actions authorities haven’t launched a medal target for this one year’s Video games, which beginning on Feb. 4, but Chinese athletes are strong contenders to claim gold in bigger than a dozen occasions. Beijing 2022 could perchance perchance even peep China high the medals desk for the fundamental time — in the previous eight Winter Olympics, the country placing first has by no system wished to declare bigger than 14 golds. 

Listed below are the Chinese athletes to appear out for on the Video games:

Liu Jiayu — ladies’s snowboard: half pipe 

At the age of 31, Liu is already a pioneer of her sport in China and a three-time Olympian. She is the fundamental Chinese snowboarder to declare the World Cup and World Championships, and her silver at 2018 PyeongChang used to be the fundamental Chinese Olympic medal in the game.

Born in the bitterly cold coal-producing metropolis of Hegang in China’s Northeast, Liu used to be enrolled right into a martial arts college as a toddler. At 11, she used to be selected to change into phase of China’s first elite snowboarding squad. Merely four years later, she won silver at a World Cup tournament. 

In Beijing, one in every of Liu’s predominant opponents for the gold medal will be a fellow Chinese world champion, Cai Xuetong.

Sui Wenjing and Han Cong — pairs figure skating 

Sui and Han earn already obtained 14 gold medals from the arena’s most attention-grabbing competitions, three junior world championship titles, and two more on the senior level. The ideal main honor they don’t earn is Olympic gold.

At PyeongChang 2018, after lacking out on the gold medal by a razor-skinny margin, the pair couldn’t prefer abet tears. The silver they did declare, on the synthetic hand, used to be a excellent success: a series of surgical procedures had left Sui in a wheelchair for phase of the season. 

Sui Wenjing and Han Cong perform during the exhibition gala at the Skate Canada figure skating competition in Vancouver, British Columbia, Oct. 31, 2021. Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via People Visual

Sui Wenjing and Han Cong invent at some stage in the exhibition gala on the Skate Canada figure skating opponents in Vancouver, British Columbia, Oct. 31, 2021. Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press thru Other folks Visual

This one year, Sui and Han are coming into the Olympics in big fetch, having won the 2021 Huge Prix Resolve Skating Final ahead of their compatriots Peng Cheng and Jin Yang, who could perchance even insist for gold in Beijing.

Su Yiming — males’s snowboard: huge air, slope fashion

World Cup winner, film indispensable individual, and now a contender for Olympic gold — all by the age of 17. Su used to be born in northeast China’s Jilin province, the attach snowboarding and skiing are now the native sports actions of substitute. He first stepped onto a snowboard at 4 years old; landed a movie function —, skiing in the Chinese action blockbuster “The Taking of the Tiger Mountain” at 9; and started practising with the Chinese national team at 14.

Closing December, Su destroyed his opponents to claim the wide air World Cup title, changing into the fundamental Chinese athlete to stay so. “Su Yiming’s utilizing is evolving sooner than an online algorithm,” his sponsors declared in the wake of his victory. 

Geng Wenqiang — males’s skeleton

Skeleton is a actually recent sport in China. It used to be given the Chinese title gang jia xue che — “steel physique snow cart” — and Geng turned one in every of the country’s first “snow cart” racers.

Sooner than converting to skeleton in 2015, Geng — who comes from a village in the Interior Mongolia Self sustaining Location — used to be an elite prolonged jumper. It took him handiest two months of practising to declare China’s first world medals in skeleton. 

At PyeongChang in 2018, Geng done 13th, but he has continued to toughen since then. In 2020, he placed third in a World Cup plug. Closing one year, he made historical previous by successful a first World Cup tournament in Innsbruck, Austria. 

Wu Dajing — males’s brief track speedskating: individual 500m, relay, mixed relay 

Wu used to be China’s handiest champion on the closing Winter Olympics, the attach he won 500m gold and fasten an world file that soundless stands. Though soundless handiest 27, Wu is already a four-time world champion and acts as a mentor to his a lot younger teammates. 

Wu himself used to be impressed to absorb the game on the age of 10, after observing China’s earlier abilities of indispensable individual wobble skaters, equivalent to Li Jiajun, a 12-time world champion between 1996 and 2003. At the moment ranked 2d on the earth, Wu will deserve to uncover a approach previous his teammate Ren Ziwei — ranked third — to have interaction dwelling the person 500m gold.

Ning Zhongyan — males’s speedskating: 1,000m, 1,500m, team pursuit

China has prolonged been one in every of the main players briefly track speedskating, but couldn’t replicate the an identical success on the longer track, the attach racers compete in pairs in opposition to every other. That used to be ahead of Ning, 22, broke thru. 

Ning showed pre-Olympic fetch with World Cup stage victories in both the 1,000m and 1,500m, changing into the fundamental Chinese athlete to declare in the latter tournament. Ning’s teammate Gao Tingyu could perchance even insist for gold in the 500m, having won bronze at PyeongChang 2018.

Gu In dreadful health — ladies’s freestyle skiing: huge air, half pipe, slope fashion

When American-born skier Gu In dreadful health (Eileen Gu) selected to signify China, she turned an immediate wide title in her mother’s country of beginning. Her status will attain stratospheric ranges if she achieves what some search data from of her to — and walks away with three golds in Beijing.

Gu Ailing poses for a photo after placing first in the Women’s Freeski Halfpipe competition at the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix, U.S., Jan. 8, 2022. Sean M. Haffey via People Visual

Gu In dreadful health poses for a describe after placing first in the Females’s Freeski Halfpipe opponents on the Toyota U.S. Huge Prix, U.S., Jan. 8, 2022. Sean M. Haffey thru Other folks Visual

Gu has the doable to stay it. Though handiest 18 years old, she is already atmosphere records on the ideal stage. In 2021, Gu turned the fundamental rookie to declare multiple medals in the X-Video games, the fundamental freestyle skier to declare two golds at a World Championships, and the fundamental athlete to switch undefeated for a total season in half-pipe competitions. She could perchance be the most convenient girl on the earth who has landed a switch known as the double cork 1440.

Xu Mengtao — ladies’s freestyle skiing: aerials, mixed team aerials 

Aerials, a freestyle skiing self-discipline, has prolonged been a prosperous source of medals for China. The country’s female athletes earn won five Olympic silvers, but by no system a gold, in the game.

Xu, the 2014 bronze medalist, will be aiming to interrupt the jinx in Beijing. At the moment ranked first on the earth, Xu could perchance perchance have interaction two golds, as she’s also taking phase in the mixed team aerials, a brand recent self-discipline the attach teams of males and girls compete.  

Xu’s male teammates are also in honest fetch ahead of the Video games — and even earn the doable to agree with all three places on the rostrum. In January, the Chinese males’s aerials team took first, 2d, and third on the World Cup in Utah. Wang Xindi, the champion, will fair to affix Xu on high of the Beijing podium. 

Darkish horses

Females’s ice hockey team 

China’s ladies’s ice hockey team used to be as soon as ranked as excessive as fifth on the earth. Its heyday got right here in the 1990s, when the aspect done fourth on the 1998 Nagano Video games and the 1994 and 1997 World Championships. After that, on the synthetic hand, the team’s efficiency dropped off.

China has spared no effort to revive the country’s ice hockey sides ahead of a dwelling Olympics. Chinese teams were taken to play in Canada and Russia, and foreign coaches and players were dropped at China to raise the level of opponents in the country’s domestic leagues. These varieties of players stayed on as naturalized Chinese voters, and could perchance fair signify China in Beijing.

A remake of the “Miracle on Ice” — when the U.S.’s amateurs took out the seemingly invincible Soviet Union team on the 1980 Olympics — will be doable.

Jin Boyang — males’s individual figure skating 

No Chinese male skater has won a individual Olympic or world title, but Jin Boyang is getting closer and closer. He done third on the 2016 and 2017 World Championships, and in 2018 turned the fundamental Chinese male to declare the Four Continents Championships — a contest for high non-European skaters. 

Jin placed fourth at PyeongChang 2018, but skating on dwelling soil will be sufficient to raise the Harbin native to the tip of the Olympic podium in 2022. 

Editor: Dominic Morgan. 

(Icons: From Beijing Organising Committee)

(Header image: The Chinese males’s national ice hockey team practices on the National Indoor Stadium ahead of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Video games, Jan. 29, 2022. Bruce Bennett thru Other folks Visual)

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