As part of the preparation, potential athletes, their coaches and support staff spent the day at the Olympic Winter Institute of Australia in Melbourne where they were inoculated, measured for uniforms, photographed for ID’s, lectured on the use of marketing and social media, briefed on the layout of the Winter Olympic event arenas as well as learning about Chinese culture and language.
JinLi was extremely honoured to be asked to teach our potential athletes a bit more about Chinese culture through Tai Chi. Over the course of the day, all the athletes and staff had the opportunity to experience the challenges of performing something slowly, relying on memory for coordination of new body movements as opposed to the patterning they are so familiar with in their training regimes. It was also a chance for them to learn a bit more about the Chinese culture and how the martial arts play such a pivotal role in the history of the country and its people, and how the Chinese philosophies underpin Tai Chi.
There was some discussion about integrating a component of either Tai Chi or Qigong into the athlete's training programmes, giving them an opportunity to become focussed on something other than their chosen disciplines, while providing a much-needed mental break through the magic of Tai Chi's mediative focus.
We wish all the athletes well and hope it is a joyous and life-changing experience for all of them.