Sat, 29 Jan 2022

© Provided by Xinhua

by Zeynep Cermen

ISTANBUL, Jan. 12 (Xinhua) -- Fatih Arda Ipcioglu, 24, was born at the foot of the Palandoken Mountain in the eastern end of Turkey in a family fond of winter sports.

This mountainous region in Erzurum province, which has later turned into an important winter sports center of the country, became a cornerstone for him to become a national ski jumping and an Olympic athlete.

© Provided by Xinhua

Ipcioglu started skiing at a very young age with the encouragement of his father at the age of 11, he received an offer to become a licensed club athlete in ski jumping.

Now known as the "Flying Turk," he will represent his country in the upcoming Beijing Winter Olympics in February. Accomplishing a "perfect jump" there is his "biggest dream."

"I am proud and happy to go to the 2022 Winter Olympics in China," he told Xinhua at an online interview from Austria, where he attended the ski jumping world cup.

In Ipcioglu's view, the opponents may change at any time in ski jumping, where the athletes' scores are unpredictable.

"(In this branch) you can make big mistakes with small details and miss the meters, or you can also perform a perfect jump by fixing these minor details," he pointed out.

© Provided by Xinhua

Talking about his Chinese peers in the Olympics, he said China has been giving great importance to this sport, and its ski jumpers have been training very professionally. "They are on a beautiful road. I hope this will continue after the Olympics," Ipcioglu noted.

Speaking about new athletes who will shine during the games, he said "the ski jumping family is wide open to new countries and new athletes. The sport gets better as it grows and is shared."

Meanwhile, the athlete feels safe with the measures that China has taken against the COVID-19 pandemic during the games.

"There are very strict precautions. I'm aware of these because we are told about the rules beforehand, and we know what to do and not to do," Ipcioglu said. "I appreciate them in that regard. It is a very tough method but a correct one."

Chinese authorities have said that they have imposed a series of steps to overcome the challenges posed by the Omicron variant to "deliver a streamlined, safe, and splendid Winter Olympic Games for the world."

© Provided by Xinhua

In Ipcioglu's view, holding the Olympic games in time without any delay in a safe environment amid the pandemic is very valuable for all the participating athletes.

"Let me put it this way, the postponement of the Olympics would be destructive for the athletes because everyone works for the games and completes their training accordingly," he stressed. "I hope that the competitions will take place in a healthy environment, and everyone will return home safely."

Those fascinating technologies used in Beijing Winter Olympics are another attractions for the Turkish athlete, who is exciting to encounter them on the scene.

The widespread use of environmentally-friendly technology, green energy, Internet of Things technology, cloud broadcasting, 5G technology, and augmented reality would be among these technological breakthroughs.

"That is, of course, a beautiful thing as the Olympics is also a platform that showcases the host country's innovations and technology to the world," he noted.

At the end of the interview, Ipcioglu conveyed a message and said: "Beijing 2022, we are coming!"

"Together for a shared future," he added.

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