'08 Games transformed his life

Updated: 2015-02-26 07:26

By Zheng Jinran(China Daily)

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Father tells how he put on running shoes, got rid of round belly and took part in triathlons

Qu Huai gained more from his involvement in the 2008 Beijing Olympics than impressive experience to put on his resume - it helped to transform him from someone who was unfit and had a round belly into a muscular athlete.

Inspired by the example of the competitors who took part in the Games, he decided to exercise and improve his fitness.

 '08 Games transformed his life

Qu Huai runs through Yuyuantan Park in Beijing as part of his training routine on Feb 6.He runs for an hour from noon every working day and also takes part in other sports. Wang Zhuangfei / China Daily

In the past three years, he has completed four triathlons, and has also run marathons. His proudest moment came in 2013 when he held the hand of his 2-year-old son as he ran across the finishing line of a triathlon in Paris.

"It's a moment when I enjoyed the joy of sport and the bonds of family," he said.

His son, who is now 4, has accompanied him to triathlons and running events ever since.

Qu, who works as a manager at China Huaneng Group, follows a strict exercise regimen. He runs for an hour from noon each workday and goes mountain biking on Saturdays, as well as taking part in other sports.

"Exercise has become a necessary part of my life," he said, "My healthy lifestyle is closely related to the experience of working at the 2008 Olympics."

Qu, 39, majored in sports project management at a French university in 2003 and then worked as a reporter covering sports in France and China.

His life changed in July 2006 when he was told he had passed an examination to work for the Beijing Organizing Committee for the 2008 Olympic Games. He quit his job immediately.

"That was my dream, to take part in great events," he said.

He was put in charge of reviewing documents for the process of issuing Games credentials to 3,200 Chinese leaders and senior officials.

"It was exhausting work, and I spent several nights at the office over two months as the documents were confidential and I was not allowed to remove them," he said.

By the time the heavy workload ended, he had become self-conscious about his lack of fitness and round belly, and this prompted him to start running to lose weight.

"I could not run long distances at the start, but I practiced every day, and gradually I was able to complete a triathlon. The perseverance of the athletes in the Games inspired me.

"However, sport is not just about medals, it's about living a healthy life. It's important for children to learn that sport does not equal competition."

His young son has already taken part in a number of sports, including running, soccer and skiing.

"No matter what the result of the joint bid by Beijing and Zhangjiakou to host the 2022 Winter Olympics, the bidding process will attract more people to snow and ice sports," Qu said.

Skiing fever extended to many cities over the winter as the government sought to encourage public support for the bid by the two cities.

The bid process is about to enter its decisive phase as Beijing makes an all-out effort to prepare for next month's final inspection by the International Olympic Committee's Evaluation Commission.

The IOC will choose between Beijing and Zhang - jiakou and their only rival to host the Games, Almaty in Kazakhstan, in July.


(China Daily 02/26/2015 page6)