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Olympic spirit found in heartwarming moments
Release time: 2022-02-20 14:25:09  Hits: 75

Building bridges of friendship and support is central to Games' ethos

The 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games are not only about heart-pounding sporting events, but also about countless heartwarming moments.

They occur almost every day between athletes from different countries, athletes and volunteers, as well as athletes and audiences, and have created a great sensation online, with many saying it is moments such as these that make the Olympics so fascinating.

US snowboarder Tessa Maud did not win a place in the halfpipe final, coming 16th in the qualifier, but went home with many new Chinese fans. The 19-year-old became popular after sharing details of her stay in Beijing on TikTok, from hearing a volunteer shout "Welcome to China" at the opening ceremony to all the delicious food she ate.

In the videos documenting her last day in China, Maud said she felt "so sad and (was) going to cry on the plane". The videos got hundreds of comments of love and support from Chinese followers. "Lovely Tessa, you are ALWAYS welcome to come back here again," one wrote.

Germany's alpine ski team used Chinese characters to spell "Team Germany" on their uniforms, and the team director said this was done as a sign of respect as well as to demonstrate the close connection between the Chinese and German peoples.

On Feb 8, freestyle skier Gu Ailing clinched the gold for China in the women's freestyle big air, followed by Tess Ledeux of France and Switzerland's Mathilde Gremaud. When Ledeux looked upset after her final jump, Gu and Gremaud rushed over to console her. The picture of three medalists hugging quickly circulated widely online, with many saying it was the perfect display of Olympic camaraderie.

On social media, athletes have shared their experiences and feelings about the Games, ranging from being amazed by the technology at the Olympic Village food court, to feeling touched by the enthusiasm of the volunteers.

"Since the opening of the Winter Olympics in Beijing, there have been many little stories conveying warmth, camaraderie and solidarity," Zhao Lijian, a spokesman of the Foreign Affairs Ministry, said at a news conference on Feb 8.

Athletes have enjoyed and appreciated everything they have encountered in China, so much so that one of the favorite things many do each day is to count the number of volunteers that have smiled and waved at them, he said.

They have not only chosen to interpret the Olympic slogan "Faster, Higher, Stronger, Together" at competition venues, but also to foster friendships through interaction outside venues, Zhao said, adding that "this is the beauty of the Olympics. Love unites because of the Beijing Winter Olympics".


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