Chen Ye, champion of the Hangzhou Asian Games skateboarding park men's finals, shows his gold medal to the Global Times on August 26, 2023. (Photo/Lin Xiaoyi/Global Times)
Fifteen-year-old Chen Ye has become the youngest Chinese champion in the history of the Asian Games after winning the skateboarding park men's finals in Hangzhou, East China's Zhejiang Province, on Monday, which is also the first gold medal for the Chinese team in the world championships for skateboarding.
After the game, the training ground made by Chen's father, which paved the way for this inspirational story, became the focus of media attention. In an interview with the Global Times on Tuesday, Chen expressed his gratitude to his father as the person he most wanted to thank after winning the gold medal.
"The Asian Games gold medal is the greatest medal I has received so far. I will use it as encouragement to continue striving for higher goals," he said.
"I'm grateful to my father for building two bowl training grounds for me and studying skateboarding skills with me," Chen said. Chen said that he fell in love with skateboarding when he first encountered the sport in a shopping mall at the age of 8.
"When I started skateboarding, I felt that it was a very exciting and thrilling sport. I felt very happy after completing each move," Chen said, comparing it to the piano and other hobbies that his father, Chen Wanqin, tried to introduce to him but which he found boring.
Once Chen Ye showed his true passion, his father, respected him the choice and supported him. In 2019, Chen Ye joined the Guangdong provincial skateboarding team. To help his son's training, Chen Wanqin and his wife rented a warehouse of more than 200 square meters to build a bowl training ground for him.
After finishing second in the men's skateboarding park event at the 2021 National Games of China, Chen Wanqin built a new 900-square-meter skateboard park with a max height of nine meters in 2022 in order to improve his son's performance. Chen Ye said that during that time, his father quit his job and even spent all his savings to support his passion.
But it was all worth it. After winning the Asian Games gold medal, Chen Ye now has the confidence to pursue higher goals.
"Now that I've won the championship in an Asian event, I hope to perform better in global events and participate in more high-level competitions. In the future, I may participate in more Olympic ranking events," Chen Ye said.
After entering the Paris Olympic cycle, the Chinese skateboarding team is not only preparing for the Asian Games, but also coordinating their preparations for the Olympic Games. It is worth mentioning that while Chen Ye snatched the championship, other Chinese athletes in the same event also made new breakthroughs. In the skateboarding park women's final held on Monday, Chinese athlete Li Yujuan won the silver medal, while Mao Jiasi won the bronze medal.
In addition, the Chinese skateboarding team has also seen the emergence of several young players with great potential in the Hangzhou Games. Apart from Chen Ye, 13-year-old Cui Chenxi is also considered a rising star. She is also the youngest athlete in the Hangzhou Asian Games Chinese delegation. The Chinese skateboarding team, composed of athletes born after the year of 2000, continues to make breakthroughs, and the future looks promising.