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China sends 109-member delegation to 2020 Winter Youth Olympics

2019-12-25 15:08:00 Xinhuanet

BEIJING, Dec. 25 (Xinhua) -- China will dispatch 53 athletes to the 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games in Lausanne, Switzerland, more than doubling its representation at the previous two editions.

As China aims for a full participation in the 109 events of the 2022 Winter Olympics on home soil, the Lausanne Winter Youth Games serve as a platform to nurture young talented athletes for the 2022 Games, which can be reflected by the big rise in the number of Chinese athletes. China had sent only 23 athletes each to the 1st and 2nd edition of the Youth Winter Olympics.

"It's a good test for China's attempt to participate in all 109 events in the 2022 Winter Olympics. We can gain experience and improve ourselves from Lausanne 2020, which provides a talent pool for the Beijing Winter Olympics," Li Jianming, head of the Chinese delegation for the Lausanne Youth Games, told a media conference here on Wednesday.

Li also stressed the fair-play philosophy and "zero-tolerance" stance on doping, saying "playing true and clean comes as the top priority."

Many of the Chinese young athletes expressed their excitement about the upcoming event, including the 17-year-old Zhao Dan, a former long jumper who switched to skeleton in 2018.

"Everything about skeleton was new to me at first. I didn't know how to handle it," recalled Zhao, adding she felt a bit terrified, but since she finished her first competition, she has boosted confidence as time went by.

"I hope to stand on the podium. Of course a top finish will be the best thing for me," she added.

"I feel excited to compete at such a big competition for the first time. I hope to perform my best level," said figure skater Wang Yuchen.

The Youth Olympic Games is an international multi-sport event organized by the International Olympic Committee. The Games are held every four years in staggered summer and winter events consistent with the current Olympic Games format, with the inaugural Winter Youth Olympic Games held in 2012.

Lausanne 2020, which runs from January 9 to 22, is scheduled to feature 1,872 athletes aged 15 to 18 representing 79 National Olympic Committees and competing in eight sports, 16 disciplines and 81 events.

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