From kung fu to freestyle skiing: Shaolin Monks to train for Beijing 2022
China’s next Winter Olympic gold medallist could very well be a Shaolin Monk. In a bid to improve on a disappointing 9-medal tally in PyeongChang, Chinese sports chiefs have been busy scouting kung fu-trained monks, in what it has referred to as “cross-discipline candidate selection” for Beijing 2022.
Trampolinists, skateboarders and acrobats have reportedly also been considered.
125 students from the famous Songshan Shaolin Temple have been hand picked by officials, and are among a wider group of 600 students from chosen from Henan province alone. Thousands of youngsters around the country will take part in training to prepare themselves for China’s biggest sporting even since the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
The program has been designed to “enrich the talent pool for ice and snow disciplines”, according to China’s General Administration of Sport – the country’s top governing body.
Anyone who thought that the battle between Shaun White and Ayumu Hirano in PyeongChang 2018 was worth watching, wait until we see Scotty James up against a kung fu specialist in four years’ time. We can’t wait!