American snowboarder Tessa Maud moved by heartfelt greeting from Chinese Olympics volunteer at the opening ceremony
US snowboarder moved by heartfelt greeting from volunteer
Published: Feb 07, 2022 02:44 PM
Photo: Screenshot from Sina Weibo

Photo: Screenshot from Sina Weibo

"Welcome to China!" A heartfelt moment caught in a vlog posted by American snowboarder Tessa Maud on social media documenting her first-ever Olympics opening ceremony. The greeting from a Chinese volunteer and Tessa's interactions with him touched not only the snowboarding phenom herself but also netizens worldwide. 

The 18-year-old, representing Team USA at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics Games and competing in the halfpipe event, uploaded a vlog on Saturday in which she said that she kept watching the opening ceremony video that she documented over and over again, and she was just crying because it was the cutest thing ever. 

"That guy who said 'welcome to China' literally just makes me tear up every time, because they are so nice. All the volunteers are so sweet and so kind. They are just so happy that we are here. We feel so welcomed. That was just insane," Maud said in the video as she swiping her tears. 

As the first dual city hosting both the Summer and Winter Olympics, Beijing and the opening ceremony won praises worldwide and stroke a chord in people's hearts with the Olympic spirit, sending a message of unity and cooperation to the world. 

Being part of the US Snowboarding Halfpipe team, Maud has taken to TikTok to give her fans a behind-the-scenes look at athlete life in Beijing by documenting the journey getting there, from the "comfy" smart beds to foods. 

In the video of the opening ceremony of the Olympics, when Maud yells "hello" in Chinese to the volunteers who welcome the athletes, a male volunteer yells back "welcome to China" to her and waves his hands passionately. 

The video was viewed over 216,500 times and a netizen left a message under the video that she came back to watch the video again and again. 

The volunteer named Sun Zeyu from Tsinghua University said in an interview with Xinhua that Maud seemed so excited while saying "hello" in Chinese that he couldn't help to yell back "welcome to China" in English to his friend from afar. 

Sun said that he was also so overwhelmed that the small interaction between he and Maud has left such deep impression on her and has touched her so deeply. 

According to Sun, over 300 volunteers were jumping and cheering tirelessly to welcome the friends from across the world and their welcoming attitude came sincerely from their hearts. 

After Maud's video went viral, Sun wrote a letter to Maud, telling her that he also wants to thank her because through her camera lens, Maud helped him to record the most unforgettable moment of his life and he will never forget this dream moment and her kindness. 

In his letter, Sun invited Maud to return to Beijing after COVID-19 pandemic is over and he will tell her "welcome to China" again without needing to wear a face mask. 

Thumbs up and applause to the volunteers again; they are so terrific, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said on Tuesday at a press conference, referring to the vlog documented by Maud recalling her interaction with the Chinese volunteer. 

Zhao said he watched the vlog and Maud's affectionate narrative also touched him. Since the opening of the Beijing Winter Olympics, there have been many stories of warmth, friendship and solidarity and a lot of athletes said that they have really enjoyed and appreciated everything that they've encountered so far in China, he added. 

Athletes from all over the world have not only interpreted the Olympic motto of "Faster, Higher, Stronger - Together," but also eliminated their estrangement and enhanced their friendship through communication and interaction outside of their events, which is the true beauty of the Olympics, Zhao said.

Global Times