As we all know, the creation of the modern Olympic Games is closely related to the promotion of the Frenchman Coubertin, as is the creation of the Winter Olympic Games.
At the beginning of the 20th century, winter sports have been widely carried out in European and American countries. Figure skating was first added to the London Summer Olympics in 1908, and ice hockey was added to the Antwerp Summer Olympics in Belgium in 1920. Coubertin had long wanted to host the Winter Olympics alone, but his proposal was strongly opposed by Sweden, Norway and other Nordic countries. At that time, the Nordic countries believed that the competitive level of their winter sports was much higher than that of other countries on the European continent, and the Nordic Games were in full swing, so there was no need to hold winter events on the European continent.
But Coubertin defied the opposition and held a winter event in Chamonix, France in 1924 under the name of the International Winter Sports Week. After the event was held, it had a great influence and was recognized by various countries. This event was later regarded as the first Winter Olympics. The Winter Olympics have begun.
Chamonix is a ski town at the foot of the Alps. Because of the beautiful environment and fresh air, it has become a convalescent place for tuberculosis patients. After the invention of antibiotics, the function of the town began to change, and it became the center of the first ice and snow sports in Europe.
Ji Cheng said that if you count the venues of the Winter Olympics, you will find an interesting phenomenon, that is, before the 1990s, almost all the venues were ski towns, and only began to shift to the metropolis in the 1990s, such as Nagano, Japan in 1998, Salt Lake City, USA in 2002, Turin, Italy in 2006, and Vancouver, Canada in 2010.
“Because since then, the Winter Olympics have started to make money,” Ji Cheng said.
The 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain was of special significance. At this Summer Olympics, the International Olympic Committee tried a multi-level TV marketing strategy. It can be licensed to domestic cable companies and satellite broadcasters. This series of commercial operations has made the Olympic Games more widely spread and influential, and the benefits have also increased significantly.
Under this influence, the Winter Olympics began to enter big cities and entered a stage of prosperity and development. Ji Cheng said that the then president of the International Olympic Committee, Samaranch, vigorously promoted the professionalization and commercialization of the Olympic Games, opened the doors of more sports to professional athletes, and at the same time expanded the territory of the Olympic Games around the world, bringing China and South Africa together. Such representative Asian and African countries are drawn into the Olympic family.
And business operations are a double-edged sword. In the 21st century, it gradually brought some problems, such as the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics in the United States and the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy, where vote bribery occurred. “If Samaranch is doing additions for the Olympics, then his successor, Jacques Rogge, is doing subtractions. He lost weight for the Olympics and solved the problems of scale and commercialization.” Ji Cheng said. Correspondingly, in the 21st century, the venues of the Winter Olympics returned to some small cities, such as Sochi in Russia, Pyeongchang in South Korea, and Zhangjiakou, which held the Winter Olympics together with Beijing.
Ji Cheng also mentioned that in the development of the Winter Olympics in recent years, East Asia has become more and more present. In the past, the Olympic Games only came to East Asia once every ten years, but since 2018, the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, the Tokyo Summer Olympics, and the Beijing Winter Olympics have been held successively. East Asian countries have made great contributions to the Olympics, and East Asian culture has also been more integrated. in Olympic culture.
2. The spirit of promoting the Winter Olympics heritage
Many friends and students will ask Ji Cheng, is the popularity over after the Winter Olympics? What will it leave us with? Ji Cheng said that the Winter Olympics will not end just after a while, it will leave a precious legacy.
Most directly, the Winter Olympics can drive the development of the ice and snow industry. For example, Ji Cheng said that cross-country skiing, which originated in northern Europe, is a long-distance competition that tests endurance and is not popular with skiers in continental Europe. In 1964 and 1976, the Winter Olympics were held twice in Innsbruck, Austria, and as a venue for cross-country skiing competitions, Zeefeld did not attract the attention of the public at that time. Later, however, it became more and more popular.
Cross-country skiing is also found to be good outdoor hiking trails. Now, a 240-kilometer outdoor hiking route has been developed based on the cross-country track of the year. Ordinary people can go through the forest for one hour, while enthusiasts can choose a multi-day route, and the staff will transfer the luggage to the next station. They only need to bring outdoor equipment and walk to the next station, replenish and rest before starting the road.
The Winter Olympics also left a lot of precious spiritual legacy to people. Ji Cheng said that many Winter Olympics films are based on the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics in Canada. In the context of the end of the Cold War era, people have gradually shifted from grand narratives to focus on individual growth stories, and the Winter Olympics are an excellent stage.
The movie “Eddie the Eagle” tells the story of a British ski jumper. The protagonist is Michael Edwards, an Englishman who wears short-sighted glasses. In every competition, his score is the bottom. But for Edwards, the competition is out of love, and every jump is a way of surpassing himself. From his bravery and persistence, the audience understood the true meaning of the Olympic spirit-participation is more important than winning.
“Light Ride on Ice” tells the story of a snow team from the tropical country of Jamaica participating in the Winter Olympics. “A tropical country can participate in the snowmobile competition of the Winter Olympics, which means that each of us has another possibility for the way of life.” Ji Cheng said.
The core essence of the modern Olympic Games is “higher, faster, stronger”, the Tokyo Olympics added “more unity”, and the Winter Olympics added “extremely cold, extremely cold” on top of this.
“Exceeding the limit under extremely cold and extremely cold conditions is the concentrated expression of the spirit of Winter Olympic sports.” Ji Cheng said, “If the Olympic sports concept contains the three dimensions – historical boundaries, other people’s boundaries, and self-boundaries. Transcendence, and ultimately in order to achieve ‘the pursuit of a more perfect existence, a higher value and an ideal’ by the subject, then the ice and snow sports concept expresses the resistance to cold, gravity, and time, which is a more In order to completely surpass the limit.”
In Ji Cheng’s view, for the Beijing Winter Olympics, we are both witnesses, experiencers, and creators. “The real beneficiaries of the Beijing Winter Olympics are our next generation, who know from a young age that we can have so many sports options in winter. They will naturally participate in these events, not only to keep fit, but also to feel Olympic spirit, constantly expanding the boundaries of what is possible.”