MY TRIP TO BEIJING
On October 6, 1998 I took a short trip
to Beijing, where I spent a few days with the hosts of the Tenth
International Unicycling Championships (Unicon X), to be held in Beijing
in the year 2000. The China
Unicycle Association, which is
an official organization of the Chinese government, will host the event
at what is perhaps the most prestigious sports facility in China -- the
National Olympic Sports Center, where the Asian
Games and other major international sports events have been held.
In a nutshell, my trip was very
successful. The aim of this page is to describe the information I gathered and to present
pictures of the facilities.
My hosts were extremely gracious, and took care of my every need. They made a car, driver
and interpreter/secretary available to me (though I speak Chinese rather fluently), and,
to put it , mildly, wined and dined me like a king. A picture is worth a 1000 words, so
have a look.
I asked CUA Vice Chairman Zhang Shuxiao,
"Why are you treating me like a king?" The answer was quite shocking but
made me feel good. He said:
"In Chinese we have an ancient proverb:"
This is pronounced "yin sui si yuan", literally "drink
water remember source." He went on to explain about the thirsty man who will not
forget the well from which he drank. That is, he will always be grateful to the source.
"And in this way," he went on, "we will never forget
the source of unicycling in China. It is you, when you helped us organize the Great Wall
Unicycle Marathon in 1993, which marks the beginning of the sport of unicycling in
Wow! I felt very proud and honored to be thanked in this way. This
made me even more committed to helping the CUA succeed in organizing a great Unicon X, as
well as continue popularizing unicycling in China.
After the meal in the above picture, we sat down for
some serious talking. We carefully went over every point of the questions and guidelines that John Foss drew up, and basically
they agreed to all our suggestions. The answers to many of John's questions will become
clear as you read this website.
I will quickly cover here some of the
issues John raised not covered in other parts of this website.
will be real cheap thanks to the cooperation of the Chinese government
International Sports Travel Association (CIST).
At this point it seems like the prose will be less than US$800..
Event: CUA Vice
Shuxiao (surname first) told me, in response to John's joking
suggestion that we have a public show or event in Tiananmen
Square, that he will make
it happen. I kept on saying that this is incredible, and he kept on
reassuring me that it could be done. This is an official government
event and the CUA has the power to carry it off.
John Foss stressed the importance of good communication. Well, the
CIST headquarters has an English-speaking
secretary/translator called Zhao Yang
(Charles Zhao in English), and he is available by email at firstname.lastname@example.org,
and will (has?) subscribe to iuf-discuss. All email will promptly
be translated and shown to the appropriate CUA director.
Zhao will be working with me on updating and greatly expanding the
Chinese unicycling database I started working no a few years ago.
This is very important to ensure smooth communication. Since I am
an experienced kanji lexicographer,
this work should proceed smoothly.