Grandma travels 4,500km to cheer for ice hockey player at National Winter Games

Source:Xinhua Published: 2016-1-27 10:20:53

A 45-hour trip by train could be a challenge physically for a youth of 20. Not to mention for a 71-year-old lady like Li Shuyun.

But Li travelled more than 4,500km from northeast China's Qiqihar, just for a look at her grandson Yue Xinhao at the National Winter Games in Xinjiang. The 19-year-old Yue is a men's ice hockey player representing Chengde at the national winter sports gala.

"Ice hockey is not a popular sport in China. Usually there are not many spectators in ice hockey comeptitions, so the relatives of ice hockey players including me feel a duty to cheer for them," said Li.

Li rushed to the ticket office immediately she arrived at Urumqi, but failed to get a ticket in vain. Luckily, the local organizers of the National Winter Games offered her two tickets.

"Go, Chengde Team! Go!" Li kept shouting during Monday's match, with two Chinese national flags painted on her cheeks.

Yue said that he enjoyed his grandma's company. "I know she is sitting somewhere in the stands. With her cheering for me, I feel relieved and comfortable," he said.

To the delight of Li, Chengde won two matches in a row to ahead of their meeting with Harbin, an ice hockey powerhouse in China.

"I owe a lot to my grandma. I could only reward her by training hard and trying my best in the games," Yue said.

As Yue's parents are too busy in work Li has taken good care of Yue. It was Li who introduced Yue to ice hockey when he was just nine years old.

"He is physically weak at that time. I hope that he can improve his strength by playing ice hockey," Li recalled.

But Yue couldn't make to the starting line-up after several months' training. Li told her grandson not to give up and encouraged him to try a new place.

After switching to the Chengde team in 2007, Yue made rapid progress and won a place on the Chengde team at the National Winter Games.

Li has dreamed of the 2022 Winter Olympic Games after Beijing successfully won the bid.

"I wish I could live until the 2022 Winter Olympic open in China. I'll go to watch the Winter Games even if I could walk only with the help of crutches," she said.

Posted in: Winter Sport

blog comments powered by Disqus