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FRIDAY, December 09, 2022
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Sharing enthusiasm for winter sports in Turkish eatery

Sharing enthusiasm for winter sports in Turkish eatery

THURSDAY, February 10, 2022

The women's Freeski Big Air of the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games shown on TV aroused cheers from a Turkish eatery in north China's Tianjin Municipality, which features cream-yellow arched windows and decorated walls with rustic tapestry lighted by multicolor glass lamps.

The women's Freeski Big Air of the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games shown on TV aroused cheers from a Turkish eatery in north China's Tianjin Municipality, which features cream-yellow arched windows and decorated walls with rustic tapestry lighted by multicolor glass lamps.

"I am really looking forward to feeling the ice and snow in the 'Snow Ruyi,'" said the restaurant's owner, 31-year-old Turkish Alp Nogay Yavrucuk.

As one of the Beijing 2022 outdoor venues, the National Ski Jumping Center earned this nickname for it resembles the shape of "Ruyi," a traditional Chinese ornament symbolizing good luck.

Apart from the "Snow Ruyi," the amateur skier is crystal clear about all the ski fields in Chongli District of Zhangjiakou City in north China's Hebei Province, and he could not wait to rush there with his ski boots.

"I've skied since I was three years old. And skiing with my family on winter weekends was one of my fond childhood memories," he recalled, pouring black tea from the slender spout of a silver-colored teapot.

Yavrucuk was born into a sports family in Istanbul, the capital of Turkey. "My grandfather and father were both engaged in sports, and my father was a professional skier," he said.

Stepping on the boards, edging, carving, then braking. These beautiful moves are so riveting to Yavrucuk. "I'm really into alpine skiing. I enjoy sliding on the snow, especially the speed that makes me feel exhilarated," he said.

Yavrucuk used to spend a few weeks at some famous ski resorts in Europe to compete with skiers from all over the world every year.

Yavrucuk then chose to go to fast-developing China and open a Turkish restaurant in Tianjin. "Compared with Beijing and Shanghai, Tianjin sees more space for development."

In the past seven years in China, he has seen the burgeoning boom for snow sports and more and more ski resorts have sprung up in many cities.

"Spurred by the Winter Olympics, the recent snow seasons have seen more and more skiing learners. I found some kids tried and fell again and again with their little snowboard on an outdoor ski slope in Tianjin," he smiled.

Official data indicates that the number of Chinese people who have participated in winter sports training, amateur or professional competitions, and winter sports-related leisure activities has reached 346 million -- about a quarter of the country's population. It surpassed the goal of 300 million set in 2015 when Beijing won the Olympic bid.

Yavrucuk gathered with his Turkish friends on the evening of Feb. 4 to enjoy the opening ceremony of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics.

Turkey has sent seven athletes to compete in short-track speed skating, alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, and ski jumping.

When Turkey was first to follow Greece to enter in the stroke order of the team names as written in the Chinese characters, Yavrucuk stood up and cheered up with friends.

Athletes walked past the "China Gate" inlaid with traditional Chinese patterns used on windows and doors, and onto the "China Window" with changing pictures of magnificent scenery and landscapes in China.

"We are so overwhelmed by all these cultural and nature elements," he believed that the overall creativity reflects the values and philosophies of the Chinese people.

Olympic sports have become the main conversation topic of the young diners in this Turkish restaurant whose walls were inspired by the signature rock formations of Turkey's Cappadocia. The roofs decorated with continuous silk tapestries remind the visitors of the traditional roofs of Istanbul's bustling Grand Bazaar.

"I feel really great to witness the breathtaking Olympic moments with my guests and talk about the stories of athletes from all over the world while serving them these Turkish local delicacies," Yavrucuk said.

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