Thirteen-year-old Yin Hua’s skiing journey has gathered the attention of Chinese netizens and several world-class athletes from China.
Hailing from West China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Yin Hua is a young skier with her eyes set on the Winter Olympics. She even tried out for the ski team in the autonomous region’s capital, Urumqi, but, unfortunately, she didn’t make it.
Since the team’s rejection, Yin has been exercising every morning in freezing weather as cold as -30°C to build more endurance.
Her story is so inspiring that it was even made into a short documentary by China Youth Daily, the official newspaper of the Communist Youth League. The video reveals that the young athlete learns new skiing moves by watching videos and then practicing by herself.
At the end of the documentary, seven top Chinese athletes made surprise appearances and left Yin with heartfelt messages, encouraging her to continue pursuing her dream.
Among the athletes was Guo Dandan, the first Chinese freestyle skier to win a gold for China at a world championship event. At the end of the video, she says, “I really hope I could become Yin Hua’s coach to help her to achieve her goal.”
The hashtag ‘Several world champions encourage post-00s ski girl’ (#多位世界冠军鼓励 00 后 滑雪落选少女#) had accumulated more than 130 million views at the time of writing. Under the hashtag, Chinese netizens showed appreciation for Yin’s dedication and hard work.
“It’s not easy to pursue your dream, but I know this girl will keep going,” wrote one netizen, adding, “I can feel her dedication through the screen.”
Another opined, “People who pursue their dream should be applauded.”
The online attention given to the story of 13-year-old Yin is indicative of Chinese people’s growing interest in skiing ahead of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics.
Indeed, according to the Chinese multinational online travel company Trip.com Group, bookings at ski hotels in the Chinese mainland increased by 73% in December 2021 compared to the previous month.
Additionally, online traffic to content tagged ‘skiing’ increased by 39% in Q4 2021 compared to the same period in 2020 on Trip.com Group’s Ctrip Community, while the volume of user-generated content tagged ‘skiing’ jumped a staggering 224% year-on-year in Q4 and 67% compared to Q3.
Cover photo: screengrab via Weibo
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