Tropical countries without winter will also compete in Beijing
In addition to the hot northern countries like Canada, Norway and Russia, the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, which will open tonight, originally had a number of “snowless” countries participating, including Brazil, Thailand and Jamaica.What is the current development of winter sports in these countries, and are they aiming to participate, or are they expected to compete for MEDALS with a group of six favorites at this event?As one of about 80 tropical countries competing in the Winter Games, Brazil is sending a delegation of 11 athletes to compete in everything from alpine skiing to luge.Skeleton skater Nicole Silveira said she had worked hard over the past four years and said it was a huge achievement to be here in Beijing.We are still very small in ice sports, like China, but I think it is growing, Silveira told mainland media.She noted that Brazil has built new facilities such as ice rinks and curling arenas, and that the country is trying to promote the sport.She hopes that further contact with the public will help raise the nation’s enthusiasm for ice sports.As well as Brazil, countries with warm climates such as Haiti, the Philippines and Saudi Arabia are also taking part.Athletes from these tropical countries generally make greater sacrifices because they not only have to adapt to the cold weather, but also spend a lot of time training abroad.In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic in the past rainy year has brought more inconvenience and restrictions, making it no less challenging for these athletes.The desert kingdom of Saudi Arabia is one of the first countries to compete. Its sole representative, Fayik Abdi, will compete in alpine skiing.’I know representing Saudi Arabia in the Winter Olympics is a bit strange for many people, but it’s a great honor to make history, not just for my country, but for the entire Gulf region,’ he said.Abdi took up skiing when he was four years old, then spent a lot of time on the slopes when he was at university in the United States, where he was recruited by the fledgling Saudi Arabian Winter SportsFederation.”I want to help inspire others,” he stressed. “In the future, I hope that more people in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf will participate in winter sports and even the Winter Olympics.”However, a lot of winter Athletes from tropical countries, like Abdi, either studied in the west or were overseas nationals, and got access to winter sports when they were young.For the Caribbean nation of Haiti, which is competing for the first time, its sole competitor is Richardson Viano, who is alpine skiing.Although born in Haiti, she was adopted by a French family when she was three years old and has lived in Europe ever since.After failing to make the French Olympic team for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, he received an invitation from Haiti’s sports authorities to eventually represent the country.Tropical countries have never won a medal in any of the winter Olympics so far, but more and more countries are taking part.Back in 1924, when the first Winter Olympics were held, only 14 European countries, the United States and Canada took part. In Pyeongchang, a record 92 countries participated, and 91 participated this year.Mexico, the first warm country to compete in the Winter Olympics, competed in luge at its second winter Games in 1928, but it would be 56 years before Mexico would compete again.The first tropical country to participate, the Philippines, did not appear until the 1972 Sapporo Games.Inspired by the movie, in 1993, Hollywood film Cool Runnings made the audience from all over the world preliminarily understand ice and snow sports and inspired more people to participate in them.The film is based on the true story of the Jamaican four-man bobsled team that competed in the 1998 Calgary Winter Olympics in Canada. It tells the story of the members who overcame all difficulties to participate in the Winter Olympics.The film inspired winter sports not only for the Caribbean island nation, but also for people in other tropical countries.A real man is preparing to make his movie dream come true at the Beijing Winter Olympics.Shanwayne Stephens, a 3-year-old Jamaican bobsleigh player and current Olympic athlete, was spotted in 2020 pushing a car around Peterboroush, England, with a teammate, a bit of a movie scene, after gyns and other venues in the UK were closed due to the pandemic.I loved that movie as a kid, it taught me never to give up on your dreams, and it’s part of the Jamaican bobsleigh and culture.In a breakthrough, the Philippines is the first country in a sea of snowless tropical nations to compete in the Winter Olympics.In 1972, Juan Cipriano and Ben Nanasca represented the Philippines in alpine skiing.Adopted at a young age, they learned to ski in Andorra and received training in France, Spain and Switzerland before qualifying for the Winter Olympics.Without their special background, rain men would never have had the opportunity to train in the right environment, let alone participate in the Winter Olympics.Today, 50 years later, we can still see Filipino athletes in Beijing winter Olympics.Charmaine Chua, 18, a Filipino figure skater, was one of the Philippines’ representatives at the Olympics.I always wanted to compete in the Olympics one day, but it was a really hard process and it took hard training to get there, she said.She and three other compatriots from Manila and the United States will compete in the event.Nikki Icheng, a former skater herself and a member of the Philippine Winter Olympics delegation and president of the National Skating Union, said she was about 20 years old when she started skating, training once a week.She went to Tsinghua Sixth School in China, where her love of figure skating grew and she became acquainted with former Chinese pair skater Ding Yang.Ding Yang, who coached the Philippine national team during the pandemic, was very helpful in teaching our athletes, especially the young ones, Cheng said.Cheng believes Chinese people’s Asian body shape is a natural talent in figure skating and that progress in the sport is possible.Despite the current shortage of snow and ice sports in the Philippines, she hopes to invite more international coaches to coach and develop the country’s young athletes and offer more training courses for beginners in the future.The number of tropical countries today shows that more and more countries are interested in participating in the Winter Olympics.Fourteen years later, Beijing became the first city to successfully host the 2008 Summer Olympics and then the winter Olympics.Today, China’s per capita GDP is higher than the global per capita level, and if China is going to become a truly developed economy in the future, this Winter Olympics is undoubtedly an era requisitioned.After all, snow and ice sports are too expensive for the average low – and middle-income country to afford, and it is difficult to train the best athletes to compete in the Olympics, which explains why developed western countries dominate the Winter Olympics for so long.Although snow sports are still not popular in China, it is mainly in the far north or in first-tier cities that citizens are lucky enough to get a taste of skiing and other sports.But I believe that today’s Beijing Winter Olympics, in addition to allowing more Chinese people to contact winter sports, can also see more temperate or tropical countries athletes are trying to break through geographical limitations, to achieve the winter Olympics dream.