Monday, July 22, 2024

China | 11 month old baby figure skater and internet star

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Virginia Whitehead
Virginia Whitehead
"Pop culture maven. Unapologetic student. Avid introvert. Gamer. Problem solver. Tv fanatic."

(Chongli) She doesn’t know how to walk yet, but she’s already (slowly) starting to hit the slopes: At just 11 months old, a snowboarder has caused quite a stir in China at the site that will host the Beijing Winter Olympics.

Helen Roxburgh with Lilian Ding
France media agency

A little more than two months before the Games (February 4-20, 2022), Yuji, huddled in several layers of clothing, is about to set off on the slope, under the affectionate gaze of her parents.

Unlike many beginners who struggle to maintain balance on the board, the girl on the contrary shows an unsettling confidence for her age.

“We put her in boots (on ice) one day and realized she was standing,” her mother, Fan Xueyin, smiles.

“We took her off a small slope and watched her slide by herself as she squatted on the board,” she explains.

Yugi didn’t take his first steps on the ice until early November during a family vacation. But the little girl liked it.


Since then, she’s joined other elderly buffs every morning on the slopes of Thaiwoo Ski Resort, in Chongli-Zhangjiakou, one of the host cities for the upcoming Olympic Games.

Located about 150 kilometers northwest of Beijing, the site will host cross-country skiing, biathlon, snowboarding, freestyle skiing and snowboarding (except for the Big Air).

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Yuji is still too young to control her speed and direction. So he watches his parents.

“You’re doing well! They chant as they trot past him.”

With the Olympic Games approaching, China has vigorously promoted winter sports in recent years. Ski resorts multiplied and millions of recreation enthusiasts began to wear skis and snowboards.

Yuji’s father, Wang Shuo, is one such mutant.

A brand-new skater, encouraged by his daughter’s talent, says he wants to become a coach to help her advance when she gets older.

“Super talented”

When Yuji is not on her board, she crawls on all fours in the fresh snow and tries to take her first steps.

Her videos have been viewed tens of millions of times on Chinese social networks and the little prodigy inherited the nickname Beibei (“Baby”), given by her army of fans on the Internet.

In Thaiwoo, as a celebrity, she is recognized by some passersby, many of whom stop to take a picture with her.

“A lot of people tell us, ‘She’s very talented, and she should be in the Olympics someday. “I’ll think about it,” smiles M.I admirer.

“Obviously it would be great for her to bring glory to her country. But she assures she is still very young.” When she gets older, she will do whatever she wants and we will respect her choices. ”

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