— Published 23 February 2022

China thanks foreigners

After the figures, it was time for the Chinese sports authorities to analyse the results. Just three days after the end of the Beijing Winter Games, the host nation’s leaders have come up with some explanations for the tremendous success of the delegation, which finished third in the medal table with 15 podium places, including nine titles. Surprisingly, they attribute much of the credit for a historic record at the Winter Games to the contribution of skills from abroad. The Xinhua agency recalls that China called on a large number of foreign technicians, particularly in short track, biathlon, cross-country skiing and skeleton. A total of 51 coaches were recruited from 19 countries, including Russia, Sweden, France, Japan, South Korea and the United States. In short track, a sport in which China has often ranked high internationally, two South Koreans, Kim Sun-tae and Viktor Ahn Hyun-soo, were asked to help the Chinese team. Other big names who have come to lend their expertise to China include Sweden’s Peja Lindholm in curling and Norway’s Ole Einar Bjoerndalen in biathlon. Xinhua, the official Chinese news agency, concludes: “Without international cooperation, it would have been difficult for China to achieve such rapid development in winter sports.