Economic Mission in China: Eli Bouchard, ambassador for snowboarding
Photo courtesy Bouchard family
Eli Bouchard is a celebrity in China since he became, at the age of eight, the youngest snowboarder to land a double backflip”.
Sunday, 21 January 2018 08:18
Sunday, 21 January 2018 08:21
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The promotion in China of expertise in quebec for winter sports passes among others, by a young skateboarder of 10-year-old native of Lac-Beauport, Eli Bouchard.
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In order to launch his economic mission in China, Philippe Couillard visited Sunday at the Festival of snow and ice from Beijing, where he attended a performance of the young athlete to the blonde mane.
It is something of a celebrity in China since he became, at the age of eight, the youngest snowboarder to land a double backflip”. “When we arrived at the airport, he already had fans,” says the mother of the young athlete, Natasha Theriault, about his first visit last year.
Since then, Eli Bouchard inspires young Chinese to discover the snowboard, while the central government wants to create a craze for this discipline in view of the Beijing olympic Games in 2022.
The chinese authorities have, moreover, proposed to grant citizenship to chinese in order for it to represent at the olympic Games in 2022. An offer that his parents refused, assures his mother, Natacha Thériault. “I see it wrong to compete against Canada,” she says, laughing.
The benefit of the young skateboarder was held within the framework of a window on Québec within the Festival of snow and ice, that lies at the heart of the olympic stadium of the city, filled with artificial snow for the occasion.
A few minutes ago, Philippe Couillard had gone to greet the young hockey players in quebec and chinese preparing to face off in a friendly game.
The owner of a hockey school that would bear his name, Michel Valliere points out that the sport is still in its infancy here, despite a growing interest of young people in china. “They are in the process of development, but in China, it’s going at top speed,” he says.
Also present at the match, the prefect of the MRC des Laurentides, Denis Chalifoux, assigned to participate in the economic mission in order to attract chinese tourists in his region, in particular for alpine skiing. “We are already the Japanese, but we want to have the Chinese,” said one who is also mayor of Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts.
The economic benefits, he estimates, could amount to “several million” for the region annually.