UW-Madison News (July 15, 2010) — A group of elite Chinese student-athletes and coaches is expected to arrive in Madison on Friday, July 23, marking the start of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Chinese Champions Program.
The nine athletes (two of whom are coaches) will live and study on campus until Dec. 15, as part of a novel, formal exchange with Beijing Sports University (BUS) which is the foremost sports, physical education and exercise science institution in China.
The athletes, who experienced success in the Olympics and other world-class competitions, come from varied sports, such as track, speed skating, swimming, table tennis, skiing, curling or gymnastics, among other areas. Among them, the best known is Luo Xuejuan, a swimmer who earned a gold medal in the breaststroke in the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens.
In China, successful Olympic athletes are national heroes. The group has been enrolled in graduate studies at BUS.
During the fall semester at UW-Madison, the group will participate in nondegree-seeking seminars in English as a Second Language and kinesiology, as well as internships focusing on training, coaching and events management. The student-athletes have opportunities to work with the athletic department and Division of Recreational Sports, as well as with community organizations such as the Blackhawk Ski Jumping Club and the Madison Speed Skating Club.
In addition, the group is interested in exploring Madison and Dane County, as well as interacting with student organizations and attending campus events.
Campus and community members, businesses and student organizations are all encouraged to submit ideas for tours, visits and appearances to welcome the group. UW-Madison will review all requests and fulfill as many as possible. Visit http://www.chancellor.wisc.edu/china/athlete-form.php to submit an idea.
The first-of-its-kind collaboration was jointly announced by UW-Madison Chancellor Biddy Martin and Beijing University of Sport officials during a meeting in Beijing on March 27. Learn more at http://www.news.wisc.edu/17882.
The idea for the program was formed two years ago with the help of UW-Madison kinesiology professor and chair Li Li Ji.
The student-athletes are:
* Luo Xuejuan, swimming, gold medal in the 2004 Summer Olympics
* Liu “Bobby” Guozheng, men’s singles table tennis, 2000 Osaka World Championships
* Fu Tianyu, speed skating, bronze medal at the 2005 world championships
* Sui Jianshuang, women’s gymnastics, silver medal, 2008 Summer Olympics
* Wang Bingyu, women’s curling, bronze medal, 2010 Winter Olympics
* Xie Yong, coach of the Chinese national weightlifting training center
* Ren Ji, world champion and three-time Olympian in shooting
* Lu Xiudong, coach of the Chinese national Taekwondo team
* Xu Yaping, Olympian in women’s kayak and canoe
For additional information or for questions related to student-athlete appearances, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.