Olympic Stories

Han Xiaopeng - China's Great Hope

Han Xiaopeng - China's Great HopeIn the Olympic Games held in Torino, China topped the skier category. It was due largely, to the efforts of Chinese skier Han Xiaopeng. It was an historical event as China had never gone into the finals before in any of the previous Winter Olympics. This made it a remarkable moment not only for Han but also for his entire country by entering the finals and winning the gold in this category for the first time in Olympic history.

Han Xiaopeng was born in 1982 in Peixian, China. He won an Olympic gold medal on snow and won China's first gold medal in Olympic history. Though China lost in the women's aerials in Torino the victory made by Han was a remarkable feat that made the women’s loss much easier to bear.

With his memorable victory, he also became the youngest Olympic champion in the category of snow skiing. He achieved this memorable victory by completing two flawless jumps. Another interesting aspect in this victory is that he had never won the World Cup. The Olympic win was his first really big win and that is something for a young man from China.

Not only did he get to take home the medal, he also set a world record in this event. He outperformed World leader Kyle Nissen of Canada and Alexei Girshin of Belarus and thus created a historical moment unrivaled by any other athlete.

It is his hard work, determination, great effort and concentration that has proven him to be the worlds best and given fame to him and his home country. After his victory he celebrated by holding China's national flag, which showed his patriotism while celebrating his gold medal winning performance. His victory clearly showed that China is on the growing edge of the trend in the category of freestyle snow skiing.

In the Olympic Games at Torino he attained the first position in the qualifying round. Although he placed second overall in his first jump, his second jump won the day, gaining him another 120.24 points, thereby achieving the victory.

He won the gold medal with his stunning and impressive performance on the slopes. Since the Chinese men's category had not ever before won the gold medal in the snow skiing category, Han's victory finally showed that the Chinese men could not only win medals but win the gold in this category after all and now more people than ever are flocking to the slopes.

Han was coached by Yang at the age of twelve and his creativity on skis made his sport the natural choice. He was always extremely talented but he took his style to a whole new level that the world has come to love and appreciate. He has the courage, alertness and liveliness, which are all very important for skiing in this type of events. Skiing can be a very dangerous sport and only a true master can achieve all that he has managed to achieve in so short a period of time.

While the career of Han Xiaopeng may look effortless and seamless it has been anything but easy or simple. In 2000 he suffered a serious knee injury during his participation in the World cup. He was very fortunate that this did not cripple him for life. Then, in 2001 before the Olympics at Salt Lake City he had his knee injured severely yet again.

His knee was hurt so extensively that he was admitted to the hospital. After this event Han thought of retiring from the profession but with great effort and hard work he participated in the 2006 Torino Olympics and eventually won the gold.

His remarkable victory at Torino proved that the Chinese could beat out their competition on the slopes. This has inspired many Chinese professionals both athletes and non-athletes. Now the entire world has recognized the abilities of the Chinese athletes and that is a great thing for Han Xiaopeng and the rest of his country.

Since Han won his gold medal in Torino, China has decided to spend more money on sports development, particularly in the skiing events. It looks as if the tides are turning for China and the snow events. The days of them losing might just become a thing of the past if they can continue the trend set by Han Xiaopeng. Even though their social and economic factors, and their geographical conditions are not perfect for skiing in most places, they are still working hard to show that they can indeed do anything that they put their minds to.

Career Highlights
  • 2006 Turin Men’s Freestyle Skiing – Gold
  • 2007 FIS Freestyle World Ski Championships – Gold
  • 2007 Asian Games – Gold

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