Interview: Olympic champion Su embracing passion for snow sports in Saudi Arabia-Xinhua

Interview: Olympic champion Su embracing passion for snow sports in Saudi Arabia

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2024-02-28 16:32:45

RIYADH, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) -- Beijing Winter Olympic gold medalist Su Yiming expressed his excitement about experiencing and promoting snow sports in Saudi Arabia in an exclusive interview with Xinhua, ahead of his performance at the SnowBlast KSA 2024 event in the Riyadh Season.

Fresh from claiming two gold medals at China's 14th National Winter Games, Su embarked on his journey from Inner Mongolia on Monday to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia with his coach, to prepare for the upcoming exhibition event.

Saudi Arabia, known for its deserts and hot weather, presents a new challenge for the snowboarding star.

"This is my first visit to Saudi Arabia, and my first impression was how hot it is here; I was still in T-shirt when I arrived today. But I was really surprised when I was in the competition venue and saw everyone still working hard to make snow. Skiing in such a hot place all year round is incredible," Su said after the pre-race press conference.

With Saudi Arabia sending its athletes to the Winter Olympics for the first time in 2022 and winning the bid to host the Asian Winter Games in 2029, the country's investment and enthusiasm for snow sports are evidently growing.

Su welcomes this development, seeing it as not only a victory for sports but also a convergence of cultures.

"The charm of sports is immense, transcending people's backgrounds and professions," Su remarked. "When everyone puts their energy into sports and feels the power of nature, that charm is something you can't experience in other activities."

Su looks forward to the possibility of participating in the Asian Winter Games in 2029. "Coming to Saudi Arabia for the ski exhibition is a brand-new experience for me and an opportunity to feel the charm with some of the world's top snowboarders. Everything here is novel, and I hope to experience and feel more during my stay."

The SnowBlast KSA, Riyadh's first skiing competition, is scheduled from Wednesday to Thursday, gathering some Olympic and world champions in snowboard and ski categories.