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Peter Zhong, a redshirt junior ASU hockey player, is experiencing the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing differently than most. For Zhong, not only does he get to compete, but he gets to be back in his home country for the first time in years.
“Representing my entire country, and in front of all these fans that were there. I mean, it’s been just overwhelming,” Zhong said.
The 23-year-old is not only representing China, but he is also taking his place as the first ASU hockey player to compete in an Olympic games.
Zhong will take the ice likely without his parents in the stands, as attendance restrictions remain in place.
Nevertheless, Zhong said his Olympic experience has already been nothing short of incredible.
“Walking into the stadium, it was something I really couldn’t put into words,” Zhong said.
Zhong is quite lucky in the grand scheme of things. His first Olympic games are back in the very place he was born –– Beijing, China. He goes from one home in Tempe to another thousands of miles around the world to play the sport he loves.
Ironically enough, the Olympic village is not too far off from a college experience. He has roommates, a dining hall and of course some friends along the way. And similar to the first few weeks of college, Zhong has some warranted nerves.
“At first it was, entering the village, it was definitely overwhelming just seeing all the signs around me,” Zhong said. “I mean, everywhere you look it says ‘Beijing 2022’ and ‘Winter Olympics,’ it’s been awesome.”
With the fun and excitement soon to breed competition, Zhong is eagerly waiting for China’s preliminary match. Zhong and Team China face off against Team USA on Feb. 10.
The experience is far from over for Peter Zhong. Since it is his first go around at an Olympic games, he is still learning. Even so, that will not stop him from taking full advantage of this opportunity. The competition, the newness and not even the emotions will stand in Zhong’s way.
“We’ve come all this way through ASU, and now I finally have a ticket home to participate in the Winter Olympics representing my country, and when it all came together it was just crazy, a lot of emotions for sure,” Zhong said.
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