Perseverance and passion make a difference, young athlete from Macao
Proficient in table tennis, track and field, and basketball, the 26-year-old has dedicated himself to training for the past 20 years.[Photo: Chinaplus]
Ever since the news broke 20 years ago that China would be hosting the 2008 Summer Olympics, the country's enthusiasm for sports has grown and grown, inspiring many young people to get involved, like Chen Conghang.
"I first came here in 2008 and I was really lucky to have the chance to watch the Olympic Games on the spot. I was inspired, and have set my mind since then to pursuing my dream in the field of sports. I remember the scene was really spectacular and magnificent. I went to the Bird's Nest Stadium. It was a glorious moment."
Proficient in table tennis, track and field, and basketball, the 26-year-old has dedicated himself to training for the past 20 years.
And now, he's pursuing a master's degree in sports science and physical education at Tsinghua University in Beijing.
He says he's proud of being able to study at a university steeped in sports culture, and that his time there will give a leg up in his career.
Apart from his academic study, Chen has worked as a fitness coach for various school teams and for the national sprint team.
Zhu Hongxu is a player on the school's football team who has been training with Chen for two years.
"We always get along well. He's very nice but also strict with me when it comes to training. He encouraged me to push my limits and helped me achieve better performance. He's also talented in various sports such as basketball. His strong will power and self-discipline also impressed me a lot."
Chen said his university offers plenty of opportunities for students to get involved with sport, and he's proud of his team mates who excel both in the classroom and on the sports field.
"Students at the university are very brilliant and talented. Their personality and strong willpower when it comes to study has transferred into their passion for sport. Likewise, the skills we gained from sports, like perseverance, lend well to academic study."
With expertise in athletic rehabilitation, Chen has decided to seek career opportunities in China's fast-growing sports industry, and has set his sights on pursuing a doctor's degree.
"I've learned various sports since I was a child, and I've spent so many years in athletic training, all the way from high school to the university. China's sports sector has been growing rapidly over the past few years. As the country has gotten wealthier, its people tend to spend more time and money improving their physical ability and their focus on health. I think I'm really lucky to have so many good opportunities here."
Chen believes that the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area will foster more opportunities for young people, and that people who work hard and keep an open mind can seize the many benefits on offer.