HomeAsiaOlympic snowboard king Su Yiming showcases a more confident China

Olympic snowboard king Su Yiming showcases a more confident China

BEIJING: Sporting shoulder-length hair, rings and saggy trousers, teenage snowboarding sensation Su Yiming seemed each inch the cool, confident ambassador of China’s new youth as he swept to house Olympic gold.

The former youngster actor is likely one of the breakout stars of the Beijing Olympics, having received silver after which on Tuesday (Feb 15) gold, catapulting the 17-year-old to stardom and amassing him an avid social media fanbase at house.

Su heralds the rise of a new era of younger, patriotic Chinese athletes with the sort of aura of cool that has eluded the younger Olympians who, in contrast to Su, are merchandise of China’s gruelling Soviet-style sports activities academies.

China’s first males’s Olympic medallist in snowboarding has earned a legion of Chinese followers by way of his down-to-earth manner, easy type and love of music – in addition to turning into the brand new face of a sport that champions individualism and daredevil braveness.

“Snowboarders have a particular style to them which Su fits perfectly. It’s something that would definitely resonate with younger generations in China and elsewhere,” mentioned China-based sports activities analyst Mark Dreyer, writer of Sporting Superpower: An Insider’s View on China’s Quest to Be the Best.

After a scintillating run within the slopestyle final week, the place he received silver, Su clasped his fingers to his mouth and repeatedly screamed a profanity in English dwell on air.

“My worry is that at some point they’re going to ask him to conform and basically be a snowboarder without (a personality),” added Dreyer.

“He could legitimately become a great soft-power ambassador for China – but not necessarily the soft-power ambassador that China wants.”

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