As this year’s ski season got underway, 87-year-old Liu Zhihua joined the crowd at a ski resort in Urumqi, the capital of Northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, and glided fluently down the piste. Despite her age, Liu has become a star at the resort, known for her baby blue suit and white helmet, and her enthusiasm for skiing.
From Beginner to Advanced: Liu’s Journey in Skiing
Encouraged by her children, Liu took up skiing for the very first time in 2007, when she was 72 years old. Though the first day was not easy, with her waist and legs aching, Liu was able to overcome her fear of falling and gradually advance from beginner to intermediate, and eventually, to advanced slopes.
Overcoming Setbacks and Embracing the Sport
Liu recalls falling over while skiing down a slope due to a lack of experience, but says that “skill comes from practice.” For her, skiing is not only a way to keep herself young and lively, but also a source of health and happiness.
Boost for Winter Sports in Xinjiang
Xinjiang, home to ice-and-snow tourism destinations such as Urumqi, Altay, and Ili, has become a paradise for winter sports lovers. Ranking first in China in terms of the latitude, temperature, and elevation difference of its pistes, Urumqi has been listed among China’s top 10 ice-and-snow tourism cities for six years in a row.
Liu’s Mindset: Brave and Optimistic
Liu skis for about two hours at a time under the protection of her instructors, and although she skis less often than in previous years, she is determined to continue as long as possible. “I’d rather fall on a piste than lie on a sickbed,” she says. For Liu, age is just a number, and her mindset is one of bravery and optimism, regardless of her years.
Liu Zhihua’s passion for skiing is an inspiration for all, showing that it’s never too late to try something new, and that age is just a number when it comes to embracing a healthy and active lifestyle.