China sports minister pledges to qualify for all 102 events at the Beijing Winter Olympics
Gou Zhongwen makes the pledge at the National People’s Congress in Beijing as the capital prepares to become the first city to host both the Summer and Winter Games
China’s sports minister has thrown down the gauntlet to its winter athletes – qualify for all 102 events at the next Winter Olympic Games in Beijing in 2022.
Gou Zhongwen made the pledge at the National People’s Congress in Beijing. The capital will become the first city to host both the Summer and Winter Games in the history of the Olympics.
China qualified for all 12 sports at the Pyeongchang Games in South Korea last month, but not all of the events. They failed to appear in the men’s biathlon and ski jumping and the women’s bobsleigh and skeleton.
Mainland athletes performed poorly in South Korea with the 80-member delegation capturing only one gold medal in short-track speed skating through Wu Daijing in the men’s 500 metres. They clinched three golds at the previous edition in Sochi, Russia.
“We want to make a pledge here that China will participate in all 102 events at the next Winter Olympics in Beijing,” said the official.
“This means our athletes have to qualify in every single event. We understand this is not going to be easy but we want to show our determination for a full presence in the Beijing Games.”
Zhou also reckoned their performance in Pyeongchang was not good enough, but the outcome was not all negative.
“We have come up with some promising athletes at the Games and also made breakthroughs in some skiing events, and more importantly, through the competition against athletes from different nations, our athletes have strengthened their confidence and determination in winter sports.
“This proves we have to continue to put more effort in winter sports and take the opportunity to showcase the true style of Chinese athletes.”
Yang Yang, who won China’s first Winter Olympic Games gold medal in the women’s 500-metre short-track speed skating at the 2002 Games, said they lacked a history in the development of skiing events and would need to work harder if they wanted to close the gap against the world’s best.