Meet China's 83-year-old 'father of skiing'

Meet China's 83-year-old 'father of skiing'

Shan Zhaojian was China's first national skiing champion

He retired nearly 60 years ago but still promotes the sport today

(SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) SHAN ZHAOJIAN, 83, CHINA'S FIRST NATIONAL SKIING CHAMPION, SAYING:

"I participated in the national competition in 1957, and back then I wore hiking trousers, and a white cotton top that I would wear every day. Those were my ski outfits. But I was very happy back then. Some of my skis were from the Japanese soldiers when they left China, and some of the skis were made by the local wood factories."

Shan hopes the Winter Olympics will get more Chinese to ski

But he fears that climate change is threatening the sport he loves

(SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) SHAN ZHAOJIAN, 83, CHINA'S FIRST NATIONAL SKIING CHAMPION, SAYING:

"What disappoints me is that the temperature on earth is rising and the snow line is shortening. And even the snow at Antarctica is melting. There are more and more glaciers floating in the ocean. For example, my hometown Tonghua city used to have 50 centimeters to 1 meter of snowfall usually. It was something commonly seen, but we don't have that anymore.

"The feeling I get when I ski is happiness and I enjoy doing that. I can't find the same feeling in any other sports. This sport has brought joy and good health in my entire life."

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