Monday, February 13, 2006
from seeds of failure, the fruit of success?

The 2006 Torino Winter Olympics have been on TV a lot, and my Mom has been watching them, especially the pairs figure skating competition. Though I personally find the "sport" of figure skating to be boring (real competition should be head to head!), I did happen to catch a segment on the Chinese coach of China's pairs figure skating team, Mr. Yao Bin. He has an amazing story.

In 1980, he and his partner were the first team to ever represent China at a world figure skating championship. Because China was still a very closed country at the time, the only way they could train was through photographs of other figure skating pairs. The pair flew alone to East Germany for their first competition because China did not have the budget to fly a coach with them. Their performance was very poor and they came in last place (15th) - I winced as the TV showed clips from that championship, with the two Chinese skaters falling while performing tricks and being unsynchronized.

Yao Bin's comments about the experience was that the thing he remembered most was the audience laughing at him and his partner because their performance was so horrible.

Fast-forward 26 years, and now thanks to Yao Bin's dedication, three Chinese figure skating pairs are in the Olympics, as three of the top five couples. What an awesome achievement. I feel like rooting for a Chinese pair to win the gold medal, just so Yao Bin can finally get a feeling of satisfaction at being mocked all those years ago. Still, why do other countries still get all the hype?

I hate all the Euro-centric broadcasting. My message to them:

Go, 中国!


i saw that too and i was so moved by the story. his perseverence and dedication are awesome. go china!!!
gak (coudln't remember my password)
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in?scrip?tion (n-skrip-shun)n.
1. The act or an instance of inscribing.
2. Something, such as the wording on a coin, medal, monument, or seal, that is inscribed.
3. A short, signed message in a book or on a photograph given as a gift.
4. The usually informal dedication of an artistic work.
5. Jeremiah 31:33

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occupation. less-cynical poor grad student
age. younger than you think, older than you know



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