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        Chinese cultural elements ring out at Olympic rink

        2022-02-16 07:51:32 GMT2022-02-16 15:51:32(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

        BEIJING, Feb. 16 (Xinhua) -- Amid the resounding applause of spectators as athletes step into the Olympic rink eyeing for a victory, there is something beyond medals.

        Figure skating is a sport that requires artistic prowess. And from the choice of music and outfits to dance moves, cultural elements have shone through at the ongoing Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games.

        With the reverberation of the stirring soundtrack from the iconic film "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon," Chinese figure skater Jin Boyang competed in the short program at Beijing 2022 earlier last week.

        Jin, clad in canal blue outfits, began with a Chinese Kung fu move that resonated with his piercing eyes and delivered a strong opening with a combination of quad Lutz and triple toeloop jump. The two-time world championship bronze medalist reaped a score of 90.98 to qualify for the final, his personal best this season.

        The music Jin picked for his short program is from the martial arts movie of the same name "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon," which was directed by Ang Lee and won the 2001 Oscar for best foreign-language film.

        Blending the harmonies of Chinese instruments with Western orchestral music, the creation of renowned Chinese composer Tan Dun echoed across Beijing's Capital Indoor Stadium, evoking both romantic and heroic sentiments as Jin enthralled the audience with his performance.

        "Four years after PyeongChang 2018, when I skated again in my short program to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, I felt I could understand better and express more," said Jin.

        Jin finished fourth in PyeongChang four years ago, the best result ever for Chinese men's singles at any Winter Games. He is now China's best male figure skater.

        Jin is not alone in presenting Chinese elements in the ice arena, particularly when the Games are being held on the home turf this year.

        Figure skating has been around for centuries in Europe and the United States, and traditionally the best athletes come from these places. But in recent years, more oriental elements have made their way onto the stage.

        These Chinese styles have injected some vibrancy into the fierce competition while conveying China's unique aesthetic charm beyond the competition arena.

        Chinese pair skaters Peng Cheng and Jin Yang practiced on the rink on the eve of the Chinese New Year, or the Spring Festival, introducing the new clothing they will wear in the following competition.

        "Suzhou embroidery, which is listed as China's national intangible cultural heritage, in my new competition apparel was weaved stitch by stitch and it is a very delicate handicraft," Jin Yang said.

        China's ice dancing pair of Wang Shiyue and Liu Xinyu was also hailed online as they were spotted in outfits inspired by Chinese landscape paintings in their free dance competition. It was an audio-visual treat for spectators, as the pair put up a fine performance dancing to the music "Kung Fu Piano" from the animation film "Kung Fu Panda."

        Netizens flooded in with comments such as "It's so beautiful," "I'm overwhelmed even listening to the beginning of the music." 

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