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Chinese Wushu will become an event in the 2022 Summer Youth Olympics.

The International Olympic Committee Executive committee approved the addition of the event. Together with Baseball5, Chinese Wushu will be added as new programmes that will be available for the next Summer Youth Olympics in Dakar, the first-ever Youth Olympics event to be held in Africa.

According to the International Olympic Committee, the Dakar 2022 Organising Committee asked for the two sports’ inclusion to the event. An IOC statement said that “the addition has the potential to further develop these two exciting sports in Africa.”

Wushu was an exhibition event during the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympics and made its first adult Olympics debut in Beijing in 2008. Regular baseball will be featured at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Kung Fu Superstar Jet Li: How I’ll Bring Tai Chi to the Olympics
The iconic actor hopes to light up future Games with an innovative take on traditional martial arts. This Saturday will see the premiere of a new martial arts movie, “Gong Shou Dao.” With a run time of just 20 minutes, it certainly wasn’t made for its box office potential. The short film, which stars Jack Ma — the founder and executive chairman of Alibaba, China’s largest e-commerce platform — brings together 11 of China’s best-known martial artists and will premiere during the eighth annual Singles’ Day shopping event, when hundreds of millions of the world’s consumers will scour Taobao, Alibaba’s shopping platform, for deals.

The man behind the film is Jet Li, a celebrated actor whose movies include “Shaolin Temple,” “Fist of Legend,” and “Hero.” Li and Ma are co-founders of Taiji Zen, a lifestyle company that promotes wellness through a combination of tai chi and meditation. Central to the company’s ethos is gongshoudao (GSD), a new form of tai chi that Li and Ma hope will elevate Chinese martial arts to Olympic status.

Sixth Tone put questions to Li about the power of tai chi, his friendship with Ma, and his future hopes for GSD.

Sixth Tone: In the past, China has failed to convince the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to include traditional martial arts at the Games. How do the prospects look now?

Jet Li: In January, Alibaba put its name to a 12-year partnership with the IOC. Covering the next three Olympic cycles, the contract establishes Jack’s company as one of the IOC’s premier global partners and doubtless gives GSD a leg up in the fight for Olympic status. In fact, Jack personally explained GSD to the IOC’s current president, Thomas Bach, in August.

… These days, I spend my time thinking about how I can help people live better, including through charitable work. Ten years ago, I launched the One Foundation, a charity focused on helping communities recover from disasters, protecting and educating children, peer support, and innovation.

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Image courtesy Xinhua News Agency

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