Chinese champions conclude 10-month study in US

Updated: 2011-12-16 19:15


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MADISON, United States - A group of Chinese sporting champions on Thursday completed a 10-month study program here aimed at helping them build careers once their playing days are over.

The 16 Chinese champions, including table tennis legend Zhang Yining, started their study in March at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The class was the second group of the program, initiated by Beijing Sports University in cooperation with Wisconsin-Madison in 2010.

The champion athletes studied sports management, sports education, sports marketing as well as English as a second language, according to David Joiner, director of Global Engagement and Leadership with University of Wisconsin.

"We showed them what we do in Wisconsin and gave them a better understanding of American sports," he said.

He said what the champions learned in the university would be helpful after they returned to China and would play an important role in improving China's sports infrastructure.

"This program is really helpful to us. It offered a comprehensive academic study opportunity on the advanced philosophy of developing sports," Zhong Hongyan, World Cup canoeing champion and the class monitor, told Xinhua.

"We also made a lot of progress in language skills. Simple communication is not a big problem for us now," Zhong said. "Besides, we are more independent. At least we can do some cooking now, which was out of our consideration during our careers as athletes," she said.

Wang Shuying, deputy consul general of Chinese Consulate General in Chicago, congratulated the champions, and said education exchanges between China and the United States served as an important bridge between the two countries.