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01 February 2017 | in Winter Universiade, Long Track Speed Skating, Figure Skating

#WUAlmaty2017: Chinese Taipei Skaters love the Sport no matter the Weather

 

 

ALMATY - The most popular sports in Chinese Taipei are baseball, basketball, soccer and surfing.

 

Ice sports are near the bottom of that list. There is only one full competition size rink in the country; and three or four smaller arenas scattered around.

 

And for athletes like Ching-yang Sung, making the Olympic Games for speed skating came with lots of sacrifice.

 

“I was a roller skater before but that isn’t an Olympic sport,” he explained. “And that was always my ultimate goal.”

 

Sung reached his goal in 2014 when he competed in the Sochi Olympic Games. Now, in 2017, Sung still aims to bring home more medals.

 

Sung began roller skating at three-years-old before switching to skates ten years later.

 

“The blade is very different,” he said. “Plus speed skating is more tiring and it’s too cold.”

 

Sung is just one of three Chinese Taipei athletes competing at the 2017 Winter Universiade in Almaty and says he is nervous, but excited.

“I am most excited for the gold medal,” he said with a smile.

 

Sung isn’t the only athlete from Chinese Taipei who has had difficulties finding training time and space to perfect their winter sport.

 

Figure skater Chih-I Tsao, says it’s hard to skate in Taipei but the National Federation is extremely supportive.

 

“I train in Japan, Korea, China, even in America in the summer,” he explains. “I am just so happy to come here, it’s my first time joining a big competition like this. Everything is awesome.”

 

Tsao says skating was always in his family — he grew up watching his older siblings figure skate, so when he was old enough, at nine-years-old, he too fell in love with the sport.

 

Tsao will compete on 3 February and 4 February to the song ‘Feeling Good’ by Michael Bubblé.

 

 

Kelcey Wright Johnson, U-Media Reporter

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