Snowboarding – Chinese teenager Su takes home the cash to cement his cult status

ZHANGJIAKOU, China, Feb 7 (Reuters) – Chinese teenage snowboarder and favorite Su Yiming won the silver medal in the men’s slopestyle final of the Beijing Games on Monday, cementing his celebrity status and delighting fans in person and online.

At the crowded Genting Snow Park in Zhangjiakou, rookie Su landed an 1800, took silver with his highest score of 88.70 in the second run, and finished pumping his arms in the air.

Fans, some wearing red beanies and holding Chinese flags, gave the 17-year-old a standing ovation every time he set off on the Great Wall-inspired course and hugged as he landed.

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During qualifying, fans had been asking for selfies and after Monday’s final race, venue staff had to put up a human barricade while answering questions from the media.

“I really want to thank everyone who took care of me and encouraged me. The result is for each of us,” he told reporters.

The boarder quickly rose to hit the top five hot topics on China’s Weibo Twitter. Subscribers soared to almost half a million.

“I don’t care (you didn’t win gold), you are the champion in my eyes,” one fan said online.

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Editing by Jacqueline Wong and Andrew Cawthorne

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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