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Tag Archives: china 2011
As a result of the team’s recent trips to China (Fall 2010 & Spring 2011), the Mad-City Ski Team was recently featured in Evinrude’s dealer magazine RPM. Here’s a scan of the article from the magazine.
The article was in the November 2011 issue (Vol 9, Issue 25).
Mad-City Ski Team – China, Spring 2011 [video]
Gary Pickney, one of the key organizer of the both trips to China for the Mad-City Ski Team, put together this highlight video of their trip. It features some photos you may have seen before if you’ve read all of the previous posts about this trip, but it also has a lot of video of the skiing over there and a lot of new photos too.
And for those who saw the video of the first trip to China last fall, this one also has a shot of airplanes being much closer than anticipated.
We spent a good 12 hours bopping about Beijing today. First stop was the Great Wall. It was an exhausting climb but worth every bead of sweat. Absolutely amazing! From there we went tot he jade factory for a lightening fast tour, a delicious lunch, and some shopping. Our next stop was the stadiums from the 2008 Olympic games held in Beijing. We walked through the Bird’s Nest – home of the opening and closing ceremonies and track and field events – and then the Water Cube, which hosted the swimming events. After dinner at a Chinese buffet we went to a show at the Red Theatre. “The Legend of Kung Fu” was flat out impressive. We all left in awe.
Tomorrow we shop! We got some practice at our haggling skills today but tomorrow will be the real deal at the Pearl Market. We’ll go to the airport straight from there. We’re scheduled to fly out of Beijing around 4pm and land in Chicago around 4pm… too bad it will take a 13 hour flight to do that!This was written after their day of tourism on Thursday (in China), but due to internet connectivity issues, wasn’t actually sent until they arrived home in Wisconsin on Friday.
6:28 pm 5/4/11 CDT (7:28am 5/5/11 in China) – The internet in our room does not work, so thanks to the Jahn’s for letting me visit bright (smoggy) and early this morning!
We’ve made it back to Beijing. Yesterday we toured the “Grand Canyon” of Laiwu. It was gorgeous! A great warmup for our adventure today – the Great Wall. We had an authentic Chinese lunch and then our long bus ride back to Beijing. We had dinner at Pizza Hut last night!
Today will be very busy – Great Wall, Jade factory, Olympic stadiums, dinner and a martial arts show. Hopefully will be able to update on all that later!
10:20am CDT (11:20pm in China) – This morning we had a really great show – minimal falls until our last act, slow jump (aka fast pyramid). The first attempt we crashed entirely off the dock. Second attempt had one couple fall, but we were still able to build a three high with jumpers. After the morning’s competition we were down by 10 points. The Chinese pulled out a parachute act in which their gymnast superstar girl dangled from some ropes – it was amazing.
At lunch, we were surprised by a table full of KFC. On this hotel’s website, their tagline is funnily translated to “you could receive the most meticulous care” and we can confirm that you actually will receive fantastic service here. The staff has been so attentive and wonderful. We’ve been very well taken care of in Laiwu.
This afternoon’s skiing was not as clean by both teams. A major success to note is that the ballet line had no falls throughout the skiing in China – practice, exhibition, or competition. Great job, ladies! We finished strong with a good, clean four high.
Another note about today’s competition is that we had great fans today – children from local schools arrived on foot and were very excited to interact with the US skiers and were very entertained by the shows.
Tonight we had our banquet and learned that we came out ahead of the Chinese by about 30 points! Mr. Dan Wang earned Best Male Skier and we celebrated with what we think was jet fuel… Gambay (bottoms up)!
We exchanged gifts with the Chinese team and had our last moments with them as they will travel back to Beijing tonight in order to catch a train tomorrow morning and travel back to their home town, which is about 1500 miles away. We’ve been told that the skiers (ranging in age from 15-30) get to see their families about 5 times a years. Apparently that is a lot for them! We are having a great time, but also appreciate very much our lives back home. Thank you all for your support!
Tomorrow we are going to the “grand canyon” of Laiwu. After our local sightseeing we’ll head back to Beijing for another day and a half of sightseeing. Best guess is that our bus ride will be at least 8 hours, so don’t be surprised if there is no update tomorrow night! We’ll be in touch soon!
7:36am CDT (10:36pm China Time) – This afternoon’s competition was kicked off with an opening ceremony with local officials. What we thought were fireworks were actually confetti canons. The crowd here is much more substantial than in Beijing and at this moment, we’re being featured on the local news, so there is potential for even larger crowds tomorrow, when we ski in the morning and afternoon. The skiing this afternoon went well and we’re currently ahead by 2 whole points. If we ski clean, there’s a chance we could hold on to that lead!
12:18am CDT (1:18pm in China) – This morning we woke up to our very scenic surroundings and breakfast that actually included beverages – hooray for Laiwu! The site here is amazing. The lake is right next to an airfield that has an enormous amphitheater-like seating area. The seating for our competition is very long rows of chairs. There are already more people here than there were in Beijing, and this morning was only practice. The press is also out at this location. Practice was brief, but went well. We’re heading back to the site for competition this afternoon. The Chinese poured some sort of alcohol on their skis, boats, the dock and jump this morning, so maybe that signifies that this is truly a competition this time!
For those of you that transport boats for Mad-City, check out how they haul them around here in the photo below! They use a crane to get the boats on and off the trailers.
At our final competition this morning we had a three fall show and came up only 11 points short of topping the Chinese. Jayson Rishling’s skills won him best male skier. The team’s hitting a good stride and has high hopes for the competition in Laiwu.
This afternoon was exhibition skiing and we did acts side by side with the Chinese. It was another great way to build our relationship with them.
As I draft this, we’re on a 6 hour bus ride to Laiwu. We were each given a gourmet dinner to enjoy on the ride: a Spam-like substance in a tube, an entire loaf of bread, warm yogurt, and a pouch of “preserved vegetables.” Yes, we’re all hungry.
The bus ride was… an adventure… and we’re all quite tired. From what we could see in the very dark surroundings and from the pictures in the brochures in our room, this could be another spectacular site.
9:34 CDT – Today Mad-City performed twice at the Shunyi Olympic Stadium. These shows were only performances, not competition, even though we’ve been very clearly informed of the points difference so far!
The morning began with opening ceremonies at the stadium. Fireworks and the canons mentioned in the last post kicked the day off. The crowd was minimal but the skiing was strong. We had several acts go without falls and were feeling pretty good going into the final act of the morning. Dan called “pyramid!’ and suddenly, with no build up whatsoever, Shunyi Stadium turned into Law Park. We closed the morning with two unsuccessful pyramid attempts and broke for lunch.
The wind gusts were present for the whole of the afternoon. Feeling at home, Mad-City had a pretty nice little afternoon! We hit the water with a 4-tier pyramid, jumps, ballet, trios, toe line, and a modified fast pyramid. It was a no-fall day for jump, ballet, toe line, trios,and the fast pyramid. Mad-City is currently about 24 points (out of about a 1,000) behind the Chinese.
Tonight we had a banquet with the Chinese team where we got to dress up and “gambay”(?) the night away with our competition. It was great to finally intermingle with the Chinese a bit and get to know them as best we can with the language barriers.
We’ll ski again tomorrow morning, for the last time, at Shunyi. Tomorrow afternoon we’ll travel by bus to another “small town” (roughly 2 million people) about 5 hours away. We have to go by bus because a town that “small” does not have a train station or airport.
Our translator, Peter, has not been to our next city before, so we don’t know what to expect in the coming days. Hopefully we’ll have more updates for you soon!
Here are some pictures from today’s activities.
9:36am CDT – Picture Mad-City’s ski site at Law Park. Now imagine the exact opposite of that and you have the site we are skiing at in Beijing. The Olympic venue features glass calm water and we got a lot of skiing in today.
All the acts are looking good for tomorrow’s competition. Pyramids were a lot easier without the midwestern weather we practiced in recently! Jumpers, swivelers, and ballet all got several runs in.
The afternoon got progressively colder and more hazy and we were all ready to return to the hotel and get warm. Once there, a comical and unsuccessful attempt at refreshing sore muscles in a hot tub ensued.
We’re looking forward to seeing how full the venue gets tomorrow, as it has been pretty quiet so far. We expect that change as a trailer carrying canons arrived this afternoon! Stay tuned!
Next Up: The First Day of Competition