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China Day 2014

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On April 8, 2014, more than 600 high school students from across the state of Minnesota gathered at Northrop Memorial Auditorium on the University of Minnesota East Bank campus for the Confucius Institute’s 10th annual China Day. Participants heard from keynote speaker Dr. Li Li Ji, chair of the University of Minnesota’s department of Kinesiology, who stressed the importance of sports diplomacy as an agent of cultural exchange and understanding. He gave an overview of the China Champions program that will be housed at the University of Minnesota starting in fall 2014. The program brings retired Chinese Olympians to the U. S. to train in sports management. Graduates of the China Champions program often go on to coach Olympic sports teams around the world.

Following the keynote speech, students participated in the “Chinese Language Olympics” where they competed on inter-school teams using sports related words they studied in advance. The championship round included new words taught to the whole audience. 相扑 (sumo wrestling) and 竞走 (speed walking) are words that will not soon be forgotten by 2014 China Day participants!