China's four-man team in the Winter Olympics freestyle aerial
competition said they had no worries over competing in the dark
Han Xiaopeng, Ou Xiaotao, Qiu Sen and Liu Zhongqing believe they
have undergone sufficient training for the event which is held
under floodlights at this Alpine venue.
"I feel very good and I have very good vision when I make the
jumps," said 22-year-old Han who comes into the Games having
equalled his best ever World Cup performance of a second place at
Spindleruv in the Czech Republic.
"The night competition will not affect my performance. I used to
be a little afraid of competing at night but since last year we
have taken part in several World Cup events at night and now I feel
The Chinese are not expected to win a medal. However, they are
determined to build on their previous best at the Salt Lake City
Games in 2002 where Qiu was the pick of the team finishing in 18th
"I feel pretty good," said Qiu, a 24-year-old from Liaoyang.
China's freestyle skiing coach has demanded that athletes in
this thrilling but dangerous sport start using mouth guards to
protect against injuries.
Canadian Cindy Thomson, who is China's conditioning coach,
voiced her concerns after seeing aerial skiier Xu Nannan suffer a
horrible injury during training. Xu collapsed and bit her tongue as
"In my opinion, they should all wear mouth guards," she said.
"They can prevent tongue injuries and most importantly, concussion.
But most of them aren't used to wearing them."
(China Daily February 21, 2006)