China News Agency, Beijing, January 28, title: Sui Wenjing and Han Cong: I am willing to bend down and build a bridge for you

  "China News Weekly" reporter Xu Pengyuan

  In the year after the Beijing Winter Olympics, Sui Wenjing and Han Cong temporarily bid farewell to the arena and did not participate in any competitions in the new season.

This is a rare and relaxing time. In the past ten years, the decisive battle in the Olympics has been the driving force for athletes to work hard day after day. The biggest knot.

In 2010, Shen Xue and Zhao Hongbo announced their retirement after reaching the highest podium in the Vancouver Winter Olympics.

From this moment on, Sui Wenjing and Han Cong became China's new hope in pair skating.

The inevitable road to 2022

  Sui Wenjing and Han Cong had waited 15 years for this gold medal.

  Since holding hands with their partners in 2007, they have quickly shined in the international arena with stunning looks: in 2009, they participated in the Youth Group Grand Prix for the first time and won the finals with four victories; Successfully won the title, and then defended the title for two consecutive years, completing the feat of three consecutive championships; after being promoted to the senior group, he won the championship at the 2012 Four Continents Championship for the first time, and at the same time became the first in the history of Chinese pair skating with a score of 201.83. The third pair to cross the 200-point mark.

  However, hidden dangers are also quietly buried.

Although Sui Wenjing and Han Cong have extraordinary talents, they also have an unavoidable natural defect.

Han Cong is not tall and cannot form a sufficient height difference with Sui Wenjing.

In order to complete high-quality lifts, high throws and aerial rotations, in addition to Han Cong needing to double his training strength, Sui Wenjing must also achieve a higher jump height than other female athletes-this means that her ankles, knees and greater stress on the spine.

So in 2013, Sui Wenjing suffered from epiphysitis.

  The 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics passed by like this, and that was the first time in the duo's career that they fell into darkness.

  But the loss didn't stay for too long, and the two put themselves into training again, heading for Pyeongchang again.

More than half a month before leaving for Pingchang, Sui Wenjing posted a Moments: "This world is like this. When you bravely pursue your dreams, the whole world will come to help you."

  It's just that the footsteps of fate did not follow the expected track.

Ranked first in the short program, unexpectedly made two jumping errors in the free skating final, and finally finished runner-up with a slight disadvantage of 0.43 points.

During the awards ceremony, Sui Wenjing's eyes were full of tears.

Sui Wenjing cried in Han Cong's arms on the podium of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.

Photo by Cui Nan

  After returning from Pingchang for a long time, Sui Wenjing often cried in her sleep.

Han Cong had never cried like this before. Faced with the pain of defeat, his only way to deal with it was to suffer silently.

Recalling those days, Han Cong still finds it difficult to calm down: "If you lose, it's just a few points away. It's only 0.43 points. I'm not reconciled. It's so close to victory, one step away, and then this step will be four years away. .”

  Four years is an extremely long process for athletes.

What's more, in the next four years, Han Cong will be 30 years old, and he will no longer belong to the peak years of athletes.

  But there is no choice.

In Han Cong's view, "The Beijing Winter Olympics is a game at home after all, and this road must go to 2022."

  So after a brief period of adjustment and recovery, Sui Wenjing and Han Cong returned to the arena.

Constantly breaking through the boundaries of the limit, not only defended his honor in the Four Continents Championship and the World Championships, but also won the gold medal in the Grand Prix finals for the first time.

  On February 19, 2022, the battle for the pair skating championship in the Winter Olympics will start. This is the last match of the figure skating event in this Olympic Games, and it is also the last gold point for the Chinese delegation.

This time, Sui Wenjing and Han Cong did not let the gold medal fall by the wayside. With a set of almost perfect moves, they scored a total score of 239.88, setting a new world record for the total score in pair skating.

At the same time, this gold medal that finally filled the gap in their careers also made the two an unprecedented Grand Slam combination in the history of pair skating.

Sui Wenjing (left) and Han Cong skating holding the five-star red flag after the race.

Photo by Cui Nan

be each other's bridge

  In this championship battle, Sui Wenjing cried again.

That day, the ice dance between the two ended in an entangled embrace. The moment the music stopped, she took advantage of the situation and leaned on Han Cong's shoulder, her eyes clenched, and she sobbed violently.

  This dance that immerses Sui Wenjing in it tells the story of her growing up hand in hand with Han Cong.

The soundtrack of the dance was originally chosen by Han Cong. At the home of choreographer Laurie Nicole, he heard a piece called "Golden Bridge over the River of Sorrow", and he immediately fell in love with it.

  It's really a different song.

In 2017, the two danced with it in an official competition for the first time, and they won the world championship.

A year before that, Sui Wenjing had just undergone lateral ankle collateral ligament reconstruction and tendon reset surgery. All the cartilage in her right foot was removed, steel nails were placed on both feet, and she lay in bed for nearly three months.

  At that time, there was only one thought in her head: Can I still skate in the future?

Similar question marks also hit Han Cong's heart: "If the two of you can't continue, I don't want to skate anymore. It would be too difficult for me to choose (partner) to start again."

  When he was alone, the only thing Han Cong could do was to keep training, and then accompany Sui Wenjing to wait for her recovery, and then accompany her to recover her muscle strength from standing and walking until she fully returned to the ice rink.

"I'm like a bridge, supporting her to get out of the predicament." Han Cong said.

  The story of this dance has no end, and it has written a sequel that is almost identical and echoes each other four years later.

In 2020, Han Cong's hip joint was overwhelmed after years of injuries and had to undergo surgery.

The person training alone was replaced by Sui Wenjing.

But with the previous separation and reunion, this time her confidence is much greater, she knows that Han Cong will definitely return to her side.

  In the Vancouver Grand Prix in 2021, Sui Wenjing and Han Cong danced to this melody for the second time.

Different from the World Championships version, Laurie deliberately added a female voice version to the music this time, and at the same time rearranged the movements.

As a result, the original single-line narrative of this dance has become a polyphonic story, implying that the two are each other's bridge, ups and downs, and supporting each other.

  The Beijing Winter Olympics is the third time for the two to perform "The Golden Bridge on the River of Sorrow". On the basis of a year ago, some adjustments have been made to expand the story belonging to the two into a fable dedicated to the whole world.

Han Cong told reporters that this time he wanted to convey a belief through the window of the Olympics: "In the most difficult time, everyone needs to build a bridge in their hearts." Sui Wenjing also said: "We are all going through a difficult period. , I hope our program can bring warmth to everyone and become a bridge to the world."

Sui Wenjing (left) and Han Cong in the figure skating pairs free skating competition at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics.

Photo by Mao Jianjun

worth looking forward to the unknown

  Even with all the pain and glory they've been through together, there are still some differences between the two today.

Just like Han Cong is currently in a state of confusion and feels that he can't find a motivation and meaning to challenge again, Sui Wenjing thinks with high spirits: "Life is not only about skating, there are many things worth doing. We don’t know the length of life, but the boundaries can be infinitely expanded.”

  Therefore, Sui Wenjing couldn't help but "vomit" to the reporter: "I feel sorry for myself, I am too tired. The two are a whole, and I can definitely feel his state. How to make the gears turn, in fact, it takes me a lot of time." I have a very big heart." But then, she said: "Although I was very tired, I was very happy in the end." In the bottom of my heart, she is actually the same as Han Cong, and they both feel that they are lucky to be able to get to this day together. .

  However, no matter how good an athlete is, there will be a day when he will retire, and now Sui Wenjing and Han Cong have to face up to this ending that may come at any time.

Regarding the future, there is no clear plan yet. The increasing age and years of entangled injuries make it impossible to determine the possibility of competing in the next Olympic Games.

But one thing has already been thought out, as long as the country needs it, I will insist on it, if not, I will accept all the arrangements of life calmly.

  "No one can accompany you for a lifetime, that's how life is. It is very lucky and very happy to be able to accompany each other through a very important period." Sui Wenjing said: "In the future, who can accompany me to continue to move forward? An unknown, but this kind of unknown is also worth looking forward to, isn’t it?” Similarly, Han Cong also said: “In the future, I will still be unable to break away from flower skating. There's a lot of crossover. It's nice to have some great memories and then develop some new ones, right?"

  In their respective answers, both of them ended with a question mark.

This is a rhetorical question to oneself, and perhaps also a promise and vision for each other.