Spotlights of Beijing 2022: Team China’s ‘battle armor’ stuns world with distinctive cultural elements
Published: Feb 08, 2022 06:02 PM
Gu Ailing Photo: Li Hao/GT

Gu Ailing Photo: Li Hao/GT

The Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games are in full swing and so far Team China's performances have impressed the world as they have already snatched three gold medals and two silver medals. 

Also capturing the world's attention has been the team's uniforms - these cultural "suits of armor" worn onto the Olympic "battlefield" are full of Chinese elements that inspire both Chinese athletes and audiences.

Chinese genius freestyle skier Gu Ailing, also known as Eileen Gu, won her first gold medal at the Winter Olympics in the Women's Freeski Big Air final on Tuesday.

This marks the first time that the event has been included in the Winter Olympics. Gu helped Team China get the premiere gold medal, which has been seen as a big breakthrough and caused eyes around the world to focus on Gu.

Many spectators took note of the uniform Gu wore when she competed in the event as the back of her black coat sported a majestic-looking "gold Chinese dragon." 

After the race, Gu was excited to show her coat to media, saying that she designed it herself and that the design refers to "a dragon among humans," in other words, an outstanding person.

Gu explained that she cares about fashion and she is also a model, adding that she would like to introduce Chinese cultural elements to the world through skiing.

"The dragon caught my eyes as soon as Gu Ailing appeared on TV. It is so marvelous and can match her performances in the race, for which I nearly burst into tears," a viewer surnamed Wan living in Urumqi, Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region told the Global Times on Tuesday.

The uniform of the Chinese female ice hockey team was also a hot item on social media platforms, which has also been hailed by some overseas netizens. 

They are calling it a "dragon and tiger" uniform because the athlete's protective gear and clothes are all decorated with Chinese dragons while her helmet looks like a fierce tiger opening its mouth, so lively and awe-inspiring.

"I think rivals might be shocked by our athletes' armor even before the competition," a Sina Weibo user commented.

"Lovely beasts! There will be a tiger helmet in the Year of the Tiger. Wish the Chinese ice hockey team keep winning!" a Twitter user wrote.

Professional clothing designers have also complimented these uniforms sporting Chinese elements.

"Chinese dragon was taken as a totem in ancient China so it is suitable to be used on the uniforms. I think the designs are not only charming, but also lively and fashionable, which shows people's confidence in culture," Zhang Yan, a Chinese designer who made his New York fashion week debut in 2019, told the Global Times.

In traditional Chinese culture, the tiger is seen as the king of wild animals and a symbol of strength, bravery and fearlessness, while the dragon is considered as an emblem of the Chinese nation that represents potent power and honor, as well as being a symbol of luck and success.