Olympic champion Zhang Hong: Sports spirit shapes my life

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LAUSANNE, Jan. 11 (Xinhua) -- China's International Olympic Committee (IOC) member Zhang Hong explained on Saturday how sports had shaped her life.

"The sports spirit has been guiding me through all the difficult times, whether in competition or in life," said the 2014 Olympic champion speed skater following a Chat with Champion session at the Youth Olympic Village.

"I feel that the sports spirit has been and will be influencing my entire life," he said. "For example, when I started to learn English two years ago, I couldn't remember all the words. Then I pushed myself as hard as in the training. I set small objectives and tried step by step, and it worked."

Zhang said that winning a gold medal in the Sochi Olympics is her most unforgettable moment in career, adding that "I will always remember the 2014 Games. Very tough competition."

She has never got a chance to participate in the Youth Olympics. "The Youth Olympic Games encourages communication and participation rather than gold medals. It's different from the other Olympic Games," she said.

The Chat with Champion session is part of the Athletes 365 Education Program of IOC, offering exchanges between young athletes and well-known champions. Zhang shared her experience and vision of the sport together with Canadian figure skating Olympic champion Patrick Chan and French ice dancer Nathalie Pechalat.

"Stay in good mood, cherish what you have, and keep studying," Zhang said. "If you feel you can't find your way, it's because you haven't worked hard enough."

After becoming an IOC member in 2018, Zhang started taking on more responsibilities. The 31-year-old described her job as "very busy and needing a lot of learning".

Speaking of the 2022 Beijing Games, the member of the Chinese Olympic Committee executive board said: "We will surprise the world in two years." Enditem

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