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Supreme athlete chases his dream

Updated: 2024-03-02 13:09 ( China Daily )
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Before the men's 50 km cross-country race during the recent 14th National Winter Games, Torsongan Bullik (left) discusses tactics with his coach. [Photo by Zhang Chenlin/Hu Huhu/Xinhua]

Torsongan Bullik, a 28-year-old cross-country skier, may harbor regrets over not winning a medal during his first National Winter Games in Hulunbuir, North China's Inner Mongolia autonomous region.

But on balance, there is more to celebrate in his life as a multidiscipline athlete than to feel sorry about. From amateur cyclist to professional skier, Torsongan from the Kazak ethnic group says sport has changed his life in many ways.

Spending his childhood as a shepherd in the pastoral areas of Wenquan county, Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, Torsongan's athletic talent was, nonetheless, apparent from a young age.

When he was a freshman in junior high school in 2009, he excelled at long-distance running. As an amateur in 2016, he finished third in the Xinjiang Wusu International Marathon. And then a passion for cycling revealed itself as his hometown hosted the Tour of Sayram Lake, a national road race for amateur cyclists.

"The dashing cyclists, their flashy costumes and helmets fascinated me," he recalls. "I felt that cycling was really cool."

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