China.org.cn: What do you specialize in? What lead you to athletic competition?
Wu Yanan: I practice Taiji Boxing and Taiji Sword. The reason why I want to practice Wushu is that when I was young, I wanted to be strong and through Wushu I can now realize my dreams.
China.org.cn: What do you think of the ties between the Wushu sport and the Olympics? How do you see the future in this regard?”
Wu Yanan: The spirit of Wushu is the same as the Olympic spirit – faster, higher and stronger. The 2008 Beijing International Wushu Tournament is coming soon in August. If I have the opportunity to join in it, I will try my best to show the beauty and grace of Chinese Wushu to the whole world. And through the Tournament, I hope Wushu can be elected to be one of the formal Olympic items in the near future.
Along with Wu Yanan we interviewed the team’s coach Pang Lintai.
China.org.cn: How do you think the team is prepared for the Wushu Tournament? What are your hopes for the event?
Pang Lintai: Our athletes have been in great competitive condition. They are ready for the Tournament on August 21st to 23rd. On one hand, we feel some pressure; on the other hand, we are very proud of participation. Great Wushu practice and good moral qualities is what we pursue. Now Wushu hasn’t become the formal Olympic item, but the Tournament can be held during Beijing 2008 Olympics. It’s a great encouragement for us and I hope Wushu can really appear in the Olympics one day. Wushu is not only the heritage of Chinese culture, but also the great treasure of all the people around the world.
Organizers as International Wushu Federation and Chinese Wushu Association, tried unsuccessfully in 2001 to have Wushu integrated as a competitive Olympic sport but it will share the Olympic stage in a separate tournament.
The official number of sports is capped at 28 every four years with a chance for review at each IOC session. However, Secretary-General of the IWUF Wang Xiaolin shares in the hopes for the upcoming tournament: “We hope that the exposure of the Wushu tournament will spread knowledge and understanding of the sport.”