But the 2022 version of Team China is in a different league to its predecessors. Booming grassroots participation in winter sports, combined with massive state support, has produced a team of both strength and depth for China’s first home Winter Olympics. There’s far more to this squad than superstar skier Eileen Gu.
China’s sports authorities haven’t announced a medal target for this year’s Games, which begin on Feb. 4, but Chinese athletes are strong contenders to claim gold in more than a dozen events. Beijing 2022 could even see China top the medals table for the first time — in the past eight Winter Olympics, the country placing first has never needed to win more than 14 golds.