For the 80-year-old Mishina Akio, ski has been a "white lover" for him for about 76 years. "In my 76 years' ski life, I feel the greatest charm of ski is that I can always make new friends through ski. After the tourists experienced ski here in Hokkaido, they could bring the charm of ski to their countries," said Mishina in Sapporo Teine where the snowboard and alpine skiing competitions of the 8th Asian Winter Games were held.
Mishina started the "Omotenashi Snow League" in 2012, an Nonprofit Organization (NPO) providing technical guidance of ski to the tourists from around the world, helping them get into the joy of ski at the soonest and the best way possible. Up to now, the league has trained more than 100 members and 38 of them have passed the test of Hokkaido Ski Federation, which would prove a person's ability to be a ski instructor.
In last Saturday's yearly ski test, Minashi was either a strict supervisor or a skilled demonstrator, showcasing the movements to all the members of his league participating in the test. One could hardly tell that he is almost 80 years' old.
About 90 percent of the members of his league are Chinese students studying in Hokkaido University as Minashi has special feelings toward the Chinese.
He has been to China for over a dozen times, discussing promotion of winter sports with Chinese professionals in this area, Mishina said:" ski is a compulsory course for all the primary school students in Hokkaido. About 70 to 80 percent of the middle schools and seven out of the eight public high schools have ski lessons." But compared with China, Mishina said China is lack of winter sports atmosphere and there are many shortcomings of ski schools and instructors. This is one of the motivations for him to build the ski league as hundreds of thousands of Chinese tourists come to Hokkaido every year.
Xin Qiuhong, a Chinese student studying in Hokkaido University now, is one of the beneficiaries for his ski program. "The training is almost free as we only need to pay some insurance fee and membership fee of the Hokkaido Ski Federation," said Xin.
For Xin, ski is a great release of pressure from her study. But her early experience in ski is not much of a pleasure.
Born in the northeastern part of China's Heilongjiang province, Xin has always been a winter sports lover. When she first go to ski in a ski resort in her hometown, the adventurous girl went to a difficult rope without any training and fell from the rope right after she started to ski. "I don't want the tourists here, especially the starters of the sports, to have similar experiences with me again and leave a bad impression of ski."
Xi has trained many tourists and students from not only China, but also Malaysia, India and other countries and regions.
"Ski is the kind of sport that you'll instantly love once you encounter it." The charm of ski for Xin is not only that she could teach the sports to international friends, but also the endless challenges and fresh feelings it could always bring to her. "I feel that ski is a lifetime sport for everyone to pursue as you can always find new skills and new things in it."