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Vancouver 2010 special series: Han Xiaopeng

2010-02-09 09:58 BJT

Special Report: 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games |

Han Xiaopeng made history for China by winning the freestyle skiing aerial gold medal at the 2006 Turin Olympics. He also became the country's first male gold medalist at the Winter Olympics. But, in 2008, the 27-year-old Han who struggled with injury almost made the decision to retire. Thankfully, the defending champion is back and ready for his third Olympics later in the week.

In tomorrow's series, we will look at the figure skating duo Zhang Dan and Zhang Hao.

Han Xiaopeng said, "I will just try my best. I do not want to have any regrets of not doing it."

Han Xiaopeng made his decision to board again despite it not being an easy choice to make.

Han Xiaopeng said, "I was in my top form. But, all of sudden, I got injured. I felt so disappointed. And, I can not get rid of it in my mind."

2008 was the darkest time of his career to date. He hurt his knee and ankle seriously in routine training and the injury almost put pay to Han's career.

In 2006, Han made his historical mark for his homeland in Turin winning China's first gold on snow in 26 years. The record still stands as he's the only male Winter Olympics champion of the country.

Han Xiaopeng said, "I really want to stay at this moment. Let it stay for ever."

After the fairytale win in Turin, the unstoppable Han dominated the World Championships in 2007.

Han proved that the Olympic gold was just a start and he went on to dominate the world's best.

But, when he was making huge strides in his career, injury robbed him of top spot in the rankings and left him at the bottom.

Han thought that he was broken mentally and physically.

Han Xiaopeng said, "I was very impatient. I could not do what I was able to. I was thinking about giving up. I just did not want to insist on the decision."

Han sat out almost the entire 2008-09 season. He only competed at the National Games.

His champion's mind and confidence were lost. His career was at a cross roads.

But, luckily, Han's family, teammates and coaches were there to support him and help him get through the difficulty.

Finally,in the 2009-10 season, Han came back after a fully recovery from his injury.

He competed at the World Cup Changchun stop and finished 5th.

Han Xiaopeng said, "I was satisfied with my performance. I did not choose the most difficult movement this time. My coach was considering helping me regain the confidence step by step."

Now on his way back, Han is set to defend his title in Vancouver. He may not be in top form but he is desperate to create another "moment" for his country and a champion's heart should never be underestimated.

Editor: Zhang Ning | Source: