Simple, sincere greeting can create great power of touching: Olympics volunteer
Published: Feb 13, 2022 08:24 PM
Photo: Courtesy of Sun Zeyu

Photo: Courtesy of Sun Zeyu

Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games volunteer Sun Zeyu from Tsinghua University said that he did not expect that a simple greeting could create such a great power of touching, and this made his experience as a volunteer more memorable, after American snowboarder Tessa Maud's vlog of Sun greeting athletes with "Welcome to China!" at the opening ceremony went viral online.

For Sun, the greeting was a natural expression of his excitement when seeing athletes from all over the world gathering at the opening ceremony, but for Maud, it was the cutest thing, worth crying about over and over again. 

"We practiced for months for the opening ceremony, but when the day came, the director told us to just follow our hearts and express our real feelings. So we all moved and danced freely amid the exciting atmosphere," Sun told the Global Times in an exclusive interview on Sunday. 

This is also in accordance with the theme of expressing Chinese people's confidence and inclusion in the simplest and most sincere way that chief director of ceremony Zhang Yimou revealed to media.

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

The vlog posted by Maud documented her first-ever Olympics opening ceremony. She also uploaded vlogs sharing her daily life in the Olympic village, including the Chinese food she likes and the comfy smart beds. 

Maud said she kept watching the opening ceremony video that she documented over and over again, and she was crying because it was the cutest thing ever. 

Sun said that after watching the vlog, he felt very happy at first, as it was a valuable recording of his experience as a Beijing 2022 volunteer. 

"After hearing Tessa say that she was so touched and cried over the warm greeting, I was touched, too, as I never thought such a simple interaction, a simple greeting, could create such a great power of touching people," Sun said. 

Sun wrote a letter to Maud, telling her that he also wants to thank her because through her camera lens, she 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 visit Beijing again after the COVID-19 pandemic is over, and he will tell her "welcome to China" again without needing to wear a face mask. 

Although she failed to enter the final competition, Maud won popularity and respect from millions of Chinese netizens for the kindness and sincerity shown in her vlogs.

She left China on Saturday. The hashtag "she failed to win a medal, but succeeded to win the love of Chinese netizens" on China's Twitter-like Sina Weibo had been viewed more than 100 million times as of Sunday. 

"I like her just as I like Gu Ailing as kindness does not have a nationality," a user of Weibo commented.