US legend sees ‘surge of Chinese champions’

Source:AFP Published: 2018/12/6 22:48:48

Figure skating legend Michelle Kwan said Thursday she anticipates "a surge of future champions" from China and believes the hosts are poised to take the Beijing 2022 Olympics by storm.

The five-time world champion from the US was speaking during a visit to Shanghai, where she saw firsthand how China is throwing resources and its considerable manpower at the next Winter Games.

The 38-year-old, considered one of the finest skaters of all time, said, "I thought it was amazing because what I witnessed was 5-year-olds, their fifth-time skating and they're agile and learning.

"It was such an opportunity to see a future Olympic champion or the next generation of athletes."

Kwan said that she saw ­Chinese children who were ahead of her when she was an aspiring skater of a similar age.

"What I witnessed two days ago was this surge of future champions," the former nine-time US champion said, adding that the US could learn from China.

Kwan said she is open to the possibility of helping China in the build-up to Beijing 2022.

China won just one gold medal at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics this year, and has been employing a growing number of foreign coaches.

Kwan, born in California to parents from Hong Kong, ­China said she had held "one-off ­conversations" about playing a role.

"I'm always up for helping young aspiring athletes," said the two-time Olympic medalist.


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