Exclusive: Chinese short-track champion Wu Dajing looks to the future of sports amid first anniversary of Beijing Winter Games
Historical inspiration
Published: Feb 05, 2023 07:06 PM
China's Wu Dajing (left) and Italy's Pietro Sighel compete during the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing. File photo: VCG

China's Wu Dajing (left) and Italy's Pietro Sighel compete during the Beijing 2022 Winter Games in Beijing. File photo: VCG

A year on since the opening ceremony of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games, China's short-track star skater and Olympic champion Wu Dajing said in an exclusive interview with the Global Times that he is pleased to see how the historic event has successfully inspired more Chinese people to experience winter sports, bringing them happiness and health.

On Saturday night, Wu, who has won two golden medals for China at two Winter Games, attended a ceremony in Beijing marking the first anniversary of the opening of the 2022 Games. Earlier that day, Wu had returned in his hometown - Changchun, Northeast China's Jilin Province - to receive an "excellent athlete" award from provincial authorities.

Share stories and spirit 

Carrying forward the spirit of the Beijing Winter Games and making more contributions to the development of winter sports in China have become Wu's current goals. 

"As a sportsman, there is no end to my yearning for the Olympics. As a Winter Olympic athlete, I hope to share the stories and spirit of the Beijing Winter Games with more people," Wu told the Global Times on Saturday.

Thanks to the Beijing Games, China's goal of getting 300 million people engaged in winter sports has become a reality.

Wu explained that currently many cities in China have indoor skating halls and the development of science and technology has also allowed people to enjoy ice and snow sports no matter what the weather is. 

"More and more people have fallen in love with winter sports, and children who are on the path to making it a career also have access to better training," he said.

Wu said that as an athlete, he is very pleased to see ice and snow sports bring joy, health and happiness to everyone. "I feel it is my responsibility to continue promoting winter sports." 

Record breaker 

A year ago, the Games were truly an unparalleled sports event. They not only made Beijing the first "Dual Olympic City" in history, but also made Wu reach the pinnacle of his life, the gold medal winner said.

Throughout his career, Wu has always been setting records. He became the first Chinese male skater to win an Olympic gold medal in short track following his victory in the 500-meter event at the Pyeongchang 2018 Games. Four years later, on February 5, 2022, he and his teammates won the 2,000-meter mixed relay for China at Beijing's Capital Indoor Stadium.

In total, in the three Winter Olympics he has participated in, Wu has won five medals: two gold, two silver and one bronze. 

"A year has flown by, but my passion for the Winter Olympics and short-track speed skating has not diminished in the slightest," he told the Global Times on Saturday. 

"Participating in the Winter Olympics has always been a dream, and I feel very lucky to have taken part in three Winter Olympics and win a gold medal in my home country last year. However, for me, it is far from over," he said.

For the past year, Wu has been actively preparing for the Milan-Cortina 2026 Winter Olympics.