Dashan ("Big Mountain") is the Chinese stage name adopted by Canadian Mark Henry Rowswell. He has been a familiar face to the average Chinese for many years now. As a cultural ambassador between China and Canada, he is held in high esteem here – "Dashan is not Chinese, but he is one of us." He was named Canadian Team Attaché for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and is responsible for presenting a real and beautiful China to his homeland Canada. Dashan said that he would embrace the Olympics like a fellow Chinese. On July 18, China.org.cn invited Dashan for an online interview to chat with netizens about the coming Olympics.
We are very happy to have you here. You are really busy these days because of your responsibilities as Canadian Team Attaché, aren't you?
Yes. In the past two years, especially the past two months, I've been busy with Olympics-related work, carrying out my duties as an Attaché. It's a huge task, but also very meaningful.
Your next Olympics-related event should be participating in the torch relay, right? So you are going to Shangqiu for the relay?
That's right. Actually being in the torch relay has nothing to do with me being the Canadian Team Attaché. It's mostly because I've been living and working in China as an international friend for more than 20 years. Moreover, my grandparents worked at a hospital in Shangqiu, Henan for two years, from about 1922 to 1925. Several years ago, I was granted honorary citizenship by the Shangqiu Municipal Government. As a result, I was named as a torch bearer in the Shangqiu-leg relay, which is to be held on July 26. It's already a great honor to be one of the Olympic torch bearers, and it means all the more to me that I will do it in the city where my grandparents used to work and live. I hope my wife and children can come to Shangqiu to witness the entire event, because it's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me to actually be one of the bearers. It's gonna be a lifelong memory.