China’s snowboard prodigy Su Yiming is aiming to showcase himself on the Olympic stage after his history-making World Cup triumph.
BEIJING, Dec. 9 (Xinhua) — Fresh from winning a history-making title at the FIS Big Air World Cup in Steamboat, the United States, China’s snowboarding promise Su Yiming is well on his way to realizing an Olympic dream.
“It has been my dream since my childhood to participate in the Olympic Games and strive for glories for my country,” the 17-year-old told reporters in a recent interview.
Putting down a backside 1800 Indy and a frontside 1800 tail grab, the young gun became the first Chinese men’s snowboarder to be crowned in the Big Air World Cup.
“It means a lot,” he said. “I did physical drills throughout last summer and made full preparation for it.”
“I was not doing quite well at the previous stop of the World Cup. I felt much pressure this time as I had a high expectation toward myself. I’m so happy to win.”
Su admitted that he had faced huge difficulties in preparation for the competition.
“Snowboarders are required to have different directions in rotation in the match. Normally I’m strong on one direction of rotation but not so good on the other.”
Su Yiming of China celebrates on the podium during the awarding ceremony of the FIS Snowboard Big Air World Cup in Steamboat, Colorado, the United States on Dec. 4, 2021. (Xinhua)
Influenced by his father, Su took up skiing at four, before gradually finding his love for the sport.
“When I first skied, it was just for fun. When I first rode on the snowboard, I didn’t know what sport it was,” he recalled.
“Then I began to fall in love with it, and improved my skills step by step.”
Once a child film star, Su never imagined that his dream of participating in the Olympics could one day become true.
Thanks to an open-minded recruiting approach adopted by the State General Administration of Sport after Beijing was awarded the host of the 2022 Olympic Winter Games, he got a chance to shine in a national Big Air competition in 2016 before being recruited by the national team when he was 14.
“It (World Cup title) is a huge recognition for me and will boost my confidence in preparing for the upcoming matches and gaining more experience en route to achieving a favorable result at the Olympics.”
With less than two months to go before the Winter Olympics starts, Su regarded the quadrennial winter sports extravaganza as his top priority at the moment.
“I have different plans as for the post-Games, and I want to take part in more competitions and let our national anthem played around the world through my utmost effort,” Su said confidently.
To achieve this, Su never stopped his quest for a higher difficulty in doing tricks. Before his triumph at the World Cup, he had landed a Backside 1980 Indy Crail in a training camp in Stubai, Austria.
“Now my goal is to improve its rate of success, and I will try to achieve this in real matches.”
Winner Su Yiming (C) of China, second-placed Clemens Millauer (L) of Austria and third-placed Mons Roisland of Norway celebrate on the podium during the awarding ceremony of the FIS Snowboard Big Air World Cup in Steamboat, Colorado, the United States on Dec. 4, 2021. (Xinhua)
After 13 years on the snow, Su has found the most appealing and special thing about snowboard comes from its various styles, and he is trying to discover his own.
“Combine your style and difficulty. I think this is the coolest thing about snowboard,” he said.
Su said a rapid growth of the sport has consistently spurred him to go forward.
“I was fully concentrated on my own performance in the game. My target was not to beat anyone else, but to challenge myself and succeed on these two tricks,” he noted.
Despite some changes taking place over these years, the only unchanged thing for Su is his love for skiing.
“Whether as a fan or a pro, I’m doing what I love. For me, the happiest moment is when I train and ski,” he said.
“The most important thing for my achievement so far is to stay true to my love for snowboard,” he added. “Only when you love something, you will do your best to go for it. If you spare no effort, nothing is impossible.”