Olympic stars shine bright with online training sessions and videos

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Chinese Olympians and elite athletes are becoming fitness trainers at online platforms-spreading news of scientific training methods and attracting more people to take up sports.

Su Bingtian of China competes during the men's 100m semifinal at Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, in Tokyo, Japan, Aug. 1, 2021. (Xinhua/Wang Lili)

Su Bingtian, the nation's most iconic sprinter, is just one of the big names keen to share his training methods with fitness enthusiasts through live broadcasts and training videos.

For example, on April 27, one of Su's live fitness training broadcasts on the Douyin short-video platform trended that day. His short videos on numerous platforms attract tens of thousands of "likes", with hundreds of thousands of netizens asking Su questions.

During one of his most-watched live broadcasts in April, when he also shared valuable experience of how to avoid injuries, or recover quickly from them, Su said, "Your attitude during sports training will show others what kind of person you are."

The 33-year-old has arguably been China's biggest athletics star in recent years, especially after the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, which due to the pandemic were staged last year. Su became the first Chinese to reach an Olympic 100 meters final, setting an Asian record of 9.83 seconds in his semifinal.

In 2015, he became the first Asian-born sprinter to run the 100 meters in less than 10 seconds, which explains the popularity of his fitness videos and why fans are so eager to learn from him.

Wu Dajing, China's star short-track speed skater and gold medalist at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics and the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, is another frequent participant in live fitness broadcasts and also creates content for workout videos.

During a recent broadcast, Wu said: "Put down your chips, popcorn and other snacks. Yes, I'm talking to all of you in front of the screens. I'm Wu Dajing. Now, train and do sports with me."

Other top Chinese athletes who have become online fitness trainers include weightlifter Lyu Xiaojun, teenage diving sensation Quan Hongchan and veteran freestyle skier Xu Mengtao, who constantly appear on live broadcasts on various platforms.

These star athletes attract widespread attention and encourage countless people to get off the couch and take up sports.

As of this month, elite athletes' workout videos under the hashtag "Douyin national fitness program "had been viewed more than 8.1 billion times on Douyin, while videos with the hashtag "World champions take you to exercise" had attracted over 2 billion views on Sina Weibo.

According to a Xinhua News Agency commentary, "People's passion toward the Olympics remains after Team China's great performance at the 2022 Beijing Winter Games and the Tokyo Olympics, which fueled their passion for fitness.

"Due to the pandemic, many people are spending more time at home, so there is a need to do sports at home. Online fitness broadcasts meet this need. They benefit the fitness campaign and the development of these platforms at the same time."

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