Category Archives: China Champions

Chinese World Champion in sailboating cruises with U.S. Olympic sailing coach, students on Lake Minnetonka

Mr. Bowers and Ms. Ziyi Wang

Ms. Ziyi Wang, participant in the 2016-17 China Champions Program (CCP) and World Champion in sailboating, spent the afternoon of May 3 enjoying her sport at the Minnetonka Yacht Club. As a bonus, she had the chance to meet and sail with U.S. National and Olympic sailing coach Gordy Bowers, who is currently head coach of the Lake Minnetonka Sailing School, and Peter Wattson, president of the Minnetonka Yacht Club.

Ms. Wang was accompanied by Ms. Chunlu Wang, Olympic gold medalist in short track speed skating, and Ms. Jill Griffiths, a member of the CCP advisory board. The group also spent time sailing and interacting with high school students from the sailing school.

The China Champions Program is sponsored by the University’s School of Kinesiology, the College of Education and Human Development and the China Center.

China Champions Program celebrates third year of hosting students at Foundation Ceremony and Graduation Celebration

2016-17 China Champions
Graduates from left: Lu Xiudong, Haixia Liu, Xue Kong, Ziyi Wang, Chunlu Wang, Lin Meng, Di Mu

Participants in the third annual China Champions Program (CCP) were celebrated at their Graduation Celebration on Friday, April 28, at Burton Hall Atrium.

Six Chinese Olympic and world champion athletes and a coach enrolled in the China Champions Program (CCP) arrived last fall to attend specially designed courses in the School of Kinesiology. CCP provides academic courses, seminars, workshops and English as a Second Language (ESL) classes to accomplished athletes from China as a collaborative educational project with Beijing Sport University (BSU).

This year’s participants, the third class since 2014, enjoyed a wide range of educational, cultural and social activities in addition to their formal courses, such as meeting former Vice President Walter Mondale at Regent Peggy Lucas’ home, attending all major sporting events at UMN and in the Twin Cities area, and visiting local schools to share their experiences with students.

From left: Zhang Yanyang, Rayla Allison, Meredith McQuaid, Maud Meng, Ken Bartlett, Li Li Ji, He Wenyi

At the celebration, Ms. Maud Meng, President and CEO of Infinite Media Co. Ltd. in China, presented the University of Minnesota Foundation with a gift of $100,000 to benefit the CCP. Kinesiology Director Li Li Ji met with Ms. Meng on a recent trip to China and shared the CCP’s mission and goals. “Ms. Meng pledged to provide financial support to the CCP to expand the participants’ careers and to share their skills and experiences with Chinese society,” said Ji.  Ms. Meng’s generous support also helps to advance University, CEHD and School of Kinesiology international initiatives.

Participants in this year’s China Champions Program were: Lu Xiudong, national taekwondo coach and professor at BSU; Chunlu Wang,  Xue Kong and Lin Meng, all short track speed skating Olympic gold medalists; Haixia Liu, World Champion and record holder for weightlifting; Di Mu, World Champion in bicycling; and Ziyi Wang, World Champion in sailboating.

Link to Flickr slideshow

China Champions visit 3M

On January 16 the China Champions along with associate professor Dr. Zan Gao, Ph.D got the opportunity to visit 3M, a manufacturing company in Maplewood, MN. There they heard presentations and toured 3M’s Innovation Center.

Led by the U of M’s School of Kinesiology in collaboration with Beijing Sport University and supported by the Chinese government’s Scholarship Council, the China Champions program is a unique, global collaboration that provides mutual benefits for Chinese athletes and University faculty, staff and students.

 

China Champions visit KIN 5511 course on Sport and Gender

cc-visit-5511
The 2016-17 China Champions with the KIN 5511 course.

On Tuesday, December 6, the 2016-17 China Champions visited Jo Ann Buysse, PhD’s KIN 5511 course on Sport and Gender. The athletes presented an overview of their careers to students, and discussed roles of gender in sport in China. Students heard presentations from both the athletes and coaches perspectives.

China Champions visit the National Sports Center

China Champions logoThe National Sports Center (NSC) in Blaine, MN, has written a blog post on the School of Kinesiology’s China Champions Program.  The post, “China Champions Visit the NSC,” details the visit and activities of the Champions at the internationally renowned amateur sports facility.

China Champions meet former U.S. Vice President Walter Mondale

vice-president-mondale-visit-1The 2016-17 China Champions were introduced to former U.S. Vice President Walter Mondale last evening at an event hosted by Peggy Lucas, member of the U of M Board of Regents and a supporter of the China Champions program. Mr. Mondale met each athlete individually and discussed his work in opening diplomatic doors to China and his many visits to the country.

Also attending the event were School of Kinesiology director Li Li Ji, Ph.D., and associate director Rayla Allison, J.D.

Mr. Mondale also served as a U.S. senator representing Minnesota and was appointed U.S. Ambassador to Japan by President Bill Clinton from 1993-1996.

Led by the U of M’s School of Kinesiology in collaboration with Beijing Sport University and supported by the Chinese government’s Scholarship Council, the China Champions program is a unique, global collaboration that provides mutual benefits for Chinese athletes and University faculty, staff and students.

 

2016-17 China Champions arrive at the University of Minnesota

The School of Kinesiology welcomes this year’s China Champions, the third cohort of Chinese world-class athletes to experience a year of study at the University of Minnesota. This year’s students include three speed skaters, a weightlifter, an ice dancer, a sailor, a bicyclist and a taekwondo coach.  Most of the athletes have completed their competitive careers and now work in the China Sport Administration or are coaches.

During the year, the China Champions will attend specially designed courses in the School of Kinesiology, including academic seminars, workshops, and classes in English as a Learned Language. Athletes will also visit Minnesota cultural sites and become familiar with the Twin Cities. The China Champions are available to visit classes around the U and  share their personal experiences in training and achieving elite world championship status in their sport.

The University of Minnesota hosts the annual China Champions Program (CCP) to foster an exchange of culture, education and sport. Led by the School of Kinesiology in collaboration with Beijing Sport University and supported by the China Scholarship Council, CCP is a unique, global collaboration that provides mutual benefits for Chinese athletes and University faculty, staff and students.

chinese-consulate-gathering China Champions hosted by the School of Kinesiology at a welcome dinner at the Tea House restaurant.

 

 

 

 

tea-house-welcome-dinnerReception in Minneapolis for the General Consulate of China, where the China Champions were recognized.

 

China Champions acclimate to U.S. education, culture with help of volunteers

ccp-wordmarkThe U of M’s China Champions Program, a year-long educational and cultural immersion experience administered through the School of Kinesiology, is in its second successful year, and program coordinators are continually working to enhance participants’ time here. The eight Chinese Olympic athletes and coach who arrived this month will be given more practical experiences to ease their transition, and time with one-on-one volunteers who will help them with language skills and introduce them to U.S. culture –including a Thanksgiving turkey dinner. Read the Minnesota Daily story here.

Ji, Hoffman travel to Chinese universities to help promote physical activity programs

A delegation of physical activity directors led by Dr. Li Li Ji, director of the School of Group panelKinesiology,  visited four universities in China this month to share strategies for promoting physical fitness among university students.  The American Culture Center (ACC) in Sports delegation included Ms. Brandi Hoffman from Kinesiology, director of the Physical Activity Program at the U of M; Ms. Carrie Sampson of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and Dr. Bridget Melton of Georgia Brandi presentingSouthern University. The delegation visited campus sport facilities and physical education classes at Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU), Zhejiang University, Shanxi Normal University, and Tianjin University of Sport. The group  presented lectures on their programs, sharing successful strategies as well as challenges, and learned how their Chinese colleagues conducted their programs.

“Declines in student health and fitness is a major concern among Chinese universities due to increased academic pressure,” said Vice-president Xu Xueming of SJTU at the USA-China Physical Education Forum. “We should learn from the U.S. and others to strengthen physical education classes to reverse the trend.”

The visits generated renewed interest and publicity at the Chinese universities, said Dr. Ji. ACC is a program supported by a U.S. State Department grant to promote public diplomacy in China. During the trip, Dr. Ji also attended the annual ACC Exchange Conference held in Xian, where all ACC representatives in China met with the new Ambassador to China to share information about their activities during the past year.

CHINA CHAMPIONS profiled in MN Daily

The CHINA CHAMPIONS program participants were recently featured in a Minnesota Daily article, “Ex-Olympians at home, pupils in Minnesota.” The article covers an overview of the program as well as insights from two participants, Lu Chunlong (gold medal trampolinist) and Li Ting (gold medal synchronized diver).

In the piece, Chunlong remarks, “I was nervous up until coming here, and suddenly my dream came true. I now have my opportunity, and I’m very excited.”