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Learning with Liu Jiayu at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics

Liu Jiayu

So many Olympic sports come down to perfection. Can you do what you are attempting to do perfectly? In the luge, a few thousandths of a second can separate the competitors, and in half pipe snowboarding, one small wobble can cost you the gold.

And so it was with Liu Jiayu on Thursday night in the ladies’ half pipe finals, who just a few days before taught an English lesson on the term “goofy” for English, baby! Unlike the men’s half pipe, in which Shaun White just got so much higher than everyone else and was the undisputed victor, the ladies’ competition could have been won by any of the competitors going into the second run. Liu Jiayu–who entered the competition ranked 2nd–came into the final run in fourth place. She looked so good up until her final trick, when her board grazed the blue rim of the half pipe. She didn’t fall, but she wobbled, and instantly she and everyone watching knew, she would not advance past fourth.

But as this Chinese new article points out, fourth is a huge victory in this event for China which had never fielded a finalist before. This year, they had two–Sun Zhifeng, who English, baby! also interviewed earlier this week–qualified as well and finished 7th.

So while she was explaining what it means to ride goofy earlier in the week (although she rides regular), Liu Jiayu actually ended up demonstrating the other meaning of goofy–you know, funny looking and silly. Because for a split second after she hit the rim of the half pipe on that final run, she looked a little goofy catching her balance. But at age 18, I have a feeling the world will be getting to know Liu Jiayu better over the next few years and that she will continue to demonstrate how uncharacteristic that goofy moment was.

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3 Responses to “Learning with Liu Jiayu at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics”

  1. Jacques Sassone Says:

    Shaun White told the story of his mother taking his medal to get cleaned at the cleaners in his interview with Cris Collingsworth on TV. It was so funny! Shaun asked his mom if there was anyway they could get the ribbon clean as it had grown really disgusting and she took the medal to the dry cleaners! Shaun was amazed when his mom came back it back with a dry cleaning bag over top of it. He also thought it was hysterical that she complained about how much money it cost to clean it.

  2. Gary Hartwig Says:

    Hi guys. Ibelive that skater Ohno is an talented skater. It is simply amazing how the USA athletes greatly perform under all the tension they have to face.

  3. English Baby | English, baby! Blog » Blog Archive » Olympic English Lessons Get International Media Attention Says:

    […] Olympic veterans. But we also had the pleasure of meeting some young athletes at their first games. Half pipe snowboarder Liu Jiayu taught our members what it means to ride “goofy” and along with her teammates Sun […]

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