Edition: English | 中文简体 | 中文繁体 Монгол
Homepage > Sports Video

China's Olympic cycling helmets turn heads

Reporter: Xu Zhen 丨 CCTV.com

08-23-2016 16:16 BJT

Full coverage: 2016 Rio Olympics

It wasn't just on the medal podium that Chinese athletes drew attention in Rio as the creative designs for the track cycling helmets also turned heads, even more so when Gong Jinjie and Zhong Tianshi set a world record to win China's first gold in the women's team sprint. Designer Zhang Dongliang  is responsible for putting Beijing Opera face masks on the helmets, and as Greg Laffradi tells us, the idea came from a cyclists simple suggestion.

The helmets that won international praise were actually produced in a common residential building in Guangzhou.

Designer Zhang Dongliang said the idea for the now-famous helmets was actually pure coincidence.

Zhang DongLiang, the helmet designer, said, "One of my friends watched a cycling event in Hong Kong where he got familiar with a national team member. The cyclist suggested that we decorate the helmets with something unique from China. It's a very simple idea."

Zhang received the helmets some days later and to make it unique, the original design had to be removed.

"This is how it looked before. We had to remove the production logo and polish all the little holes or pits on it."

Then a base coat was painted and dried, before the helmets were polished again by hand. The artists then handled the most difficult part, drawing the Beijing Opera Face Masks stroke by stroke.

Zhang said, "Gong has gone through a lot of difficulties, winning lots of honors. Just like Mu Guiying, a legendary female general. We hope she can take the helm this time and grab the gold. Zhong, meanwhile, is very smart. I knew that to improve in her sport, she learned English and French, just like Hua Mulan who is known for her bravery and wisdom as she took her aged father's place in the army."

After marking the outlines, the helmets were painted and colored again. The finishing touches included adding gloss and polishing.

"We will apply several layers of gloss before polishing. Then we add gloss yet again. When it's finished, the helmet looks like a crystal ball. Simply beautiful."

So Gong and Zhong were able race to the top of podium wearing these spectacular helmets.

Follow us on

  • Please scan the QR Code to follow us on Instagram

  • Please scan the QR Code to follow us on Wechat