16-year-old Chinese Alpine skier eyes Beijing 2022 prospect

Source: Xinhua| 2020-01-14 00:22:07|Editor: yan
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By sportswriters Lin Deren, Du Yang and Luo Xin

LAUSANNE, Jan. 13 (Xinhua) -- For 16-year-old Yi Xiaoyang, the 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games is more like a home-court competition, because he studies and trains in Switzerland.

Yi, who picked up skiing at the age of two, collected more FIS points than any other U-18 athlete in China, which awarded him an opportunity to represent China at YOG.

That's all about a boy's Olympic dream.

"I came here two and a half years ago to get quality education and training, and I'm trying hard to fight for a chance to compete at Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics." Yi said.

Yi's mother Wu Bin was an enthusiastic skiing fan. She brought Yi to the ski resort when he was two and the boy started to fall in love with the sport.

"They told me my first time on snow wasn't so successful," said Yi. "I slept on the ski lift until the coach found me and took me down."

"But the next week they drove me to the resort again and I started to learn how to ski."

Yi learned well enough to challenge most ski runs in Beijing Nanshan Ski Resort, and at the age of six, his mother began taking him to other countries and regions for skiing.

In July, 2015, Beijing was announced the host city of 2022 Winter Games. As a Beijing-born child, Yi saw the hope to participate in Olympic Games.

He decided to become an athlete.

With the help of his family, Yi chose to receive his middle-school education in Switzerland. He is currently studying at Lyceum Alpinum Zuoz Swiss International Boarding School.

Yi has a busy schedule. He has five training sessions a week, full-day on weekends and half-day on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. He travels to other parts of the world in summer to continue his training.

In 2018, Yi got his first national champion and he started to pick up FIS points in 2019.

Like other teenage boys, Yi had his own challenge. The busy arrangement had once used up his passion on skiing.

"It's about two years ago when I start to train like an athlete, and everything seemed to change," said Yi.

"I lost my interest on snow and started to take too much junk-food. I lost my temper to my coaches and that made it even worse. "

Yi's coaches found his mother, and they decided to give Yi a one-week break from training. Yi went to Japan, and he picked up his joy on skiing.

"I found that skiing had already become one important part of me, no matter I chose to be an athlete or not," said Yi.

Yi got rejuvenated after that trip, and moved back on his fighting for his dreams.

"When I was a little kid I might have dreamed of becoming an Olympic champion," said Yi. "but now it comes much clearer."

"I want to take part in the Olympics, and that will be my goal."