What's the meaning of the "dark horse"? It's someone who wins when no one expects it.
Han Xiaopeng took China's first gold on snow. He became an Olympic "dark horse" by winning the gold medal in men's freestyle aerial skiing (自由式滑雪空中技巧) at Turin in Italy. He made two almost perfect jumps for the highest score. Han had never won a world gold medal before, let alone (更不用说) in the Olympics!
"I never thought this would happen," said the 23-year-old. "I feel like I'm in a dream." It's China's second gold medal at the Turin Olympics. But more important, Han's gold was the country's first ever in a snow sport. In 2002, China's Yang Yang won the gold for speed skating at the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, US.
Han's win was unexpected but it doesn't mean that he didn't work hard.
Han grew up in Jiangsu Province. Before he started his training on snow, he used to be an acrobat (杂技演员) at a circus. In 1995, a coach found his talent (才能). The coach, Yang Er'qi, said Han had the agility (灵活性) and courage to be a ski jumper. When Yang first took the 12-year-old boy to northern China, he couldn't swim, skate or ski. But he wasn't afraid of the high platform (跳台) and kept on training.
Han almost left the sport after hurting his knee months before the Salt Lake Games. In that Olympics he only got 24th. "I was hopeless at that time, but my family and the coach stood behind me firmly, helping me through," he recalled.
Han Xiaopeng worked so hard that he won the gold medal in the Olympics at last. Because of his success, more and more people in China are becoming interested in skiing. We are proud of him and we hope he will have another big success in the next winter Olympics.
My son Joey was born with club feet. The doctor said that with treatment he would be able to walk, but would never run very well. The first three years of his life1in hospital. By the time he was eight, you wouldn't know it was a problem when you saw him walk.
Children in our neighbourhood always ran around 2their play, and Joey would jump, ran and play, too. We never told him that he probably wouldn't be able to run like the other children. So he didn't3.
In seventh grade he decided 4 the school running team. Every day he trained. He ran more than any of the others, because only the top seven runners would be chosen to run 5 the school. We didn't tell him he probably would never make the team, so he didn't know.
He ran four to five miles every day—even when he had a fever. I was worried, so I went to look for him after school. I found him6 already. I asked him how he felt, "Okay," he said. There was two more miles to go. Yet he looked straight ahead and kept walking.
Two weeks later, the names of the team runners were listed. Joey was number six on the list. Joey had made the team. He was in seventh grade—7 six team members were all eighth graders. We never told him he wouldn't do it ... so he didn't know. He just took it.