Photo by Sidney Chu: Xinhua
Different accents and backgrounds have highlighted the diversity of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) as an international city that should be a bridge for ice sports exchanges in Asia, said the president of the Association of Hong Kong ski Edmond Yue to the Global Times in an exclusive interview on Tuesday when he spoke about the different experiences of three athletes from Hong Kong to compete in the 2022 Winter Olympics, and said it was young people from Hong Kong who were also Chinese.
The Hong Kong SAR is sending its largest delegation of athletes to the Winter Olympics, consisting of two alpine skiers – Audrey King and Adrian Yung Hau-tsuen – and short track speed skater Sidney Chu. Yue told the Global Times that King and Yung will fly from Bosnia to Beijing and arrive on Jan. 30, then join the Chinese national team for training ahead of the Games.
“Since we knew in 2015 that the 2022 Winter Olympics would be held in Beijing, we were very excited, hoping that our athletes could join this great event, and it was not an easy road for them to qualify. for the Games,” Yue said. , noting that especially for alpine skiing, Hong Kong athletes have sacrificed their personal lives and studies to train in Europe – for example, in Bosnia.
Yue said he had witnessed many progress made by Hong Kong athletes in alpine skiing in recent years, and the International Ski Federation attached great importance to Hong Kong, hoping it could become a link in Asia where the future growth of ski sports would be.
Alpine skier Arabella Ng Caroline Yili finished 56th in her Winter Olympics debut but made Hong Kong history in Pyeongchang in 2018. Yue said Yung is now in good condition and does not want to give her a lot of pressure when the goal is 30th. .
Malaysian-born Yung is set to become the first male skier to represent Hong Kong at the Winter Olympics. He moved to the UK when he was in primary school and trained with the UK team, according to media reports. A video of Chu, with a northeast Chinese accent, has gone viral on Chinese social media, as many netizens were surprised that the Hong Kong athlete speaks like a local resident of Jilin province, in northeast China.
“No matter where they train and where they study, they are all Hong Kongers and Chinese,” Yue said, noting that such diversity also shows that Hong Kong is an international city.
Many netizens recalled at Tokyo 2020 that athletes from mainland China and Hong Kong SAR posed together for photos after the award ceremony for the women’s table tennis team event. Hong Kong paddlers held a regional flag with the bauhinia flower lower than national team paddlers holding a five-star national flag, which was widely applauded by netizens.
“I will try this time at the Winter Olympics to take a photo of Hong Kong athletes with those of the Chinese national team, posing for another photo like the one taken in Tokyo,” Yue said.
While the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics are expected to encourage 300 million people in China to take part in winter sports, it is also an opportunity to boost sports exchanges between Hong Kong and the mainland, said the President.
“For example, a future growth of ice sports in China’s northeast regions will also boost other industries such as tourism, transportation and hospitality, which will also be a boon to the local economy. “, did he declare.
Sports exchanges will also serve as a bridge between the mainland and Hong Kong, contributing to the city’s further integration into the Greater Bay Area, Yue noted.