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Bright youth making waves
Author:Cheng Shiwen  Date:2022-11-16  Clicks:

As the sun blazed down from the clear blue sky, giving the pool water a glass-like azure look, the chants and cheers that accompanied the sweating rowers created a melody for a vibrant autumn day. It was the Dragon-Boat Tug-of-War of Wuhan University (WHU) held in the swimming pool on campus on October 22, a breathtaking race that has been in existence at WHU for six years.

Scene of dragon-boat tug-of-war

Unlike the traditional dragon-boat competitions, the dragon-boat tug-of-war requires both teams to sit facing with each other on one dragon boat, which poses a greater challenge to players in terms of instantaneous explosive power and solid cooperation between team members.

Contestants signing in

The preparation kicked off when the early sun rose, burning wisps of mist off Luojia Hill. Before the race started, competitors had been busy warming up and bolstering team morale, bringing a ripple of tension running through the air and adding more excitement to the upcoming game. With a whistle sonorously piercing the serenity and the eye-catching red order flag fluttering in the sky, the game was declared open.

With the audience hardly ready, the well-trained players of both teams mustered all their strength and rowed in opposite directions. With their muscles and spirits in tension for the heart-stopping moments, they seemed unaware that their suits had become completely soaked by a fusion of pool water and sweat. From early morning until mid-afternoon, the participants presented a marvelous sports feast in the group, knockout sand final stage. After fierce contests, the women’s team from the School of Foreign Languages and Literature and the men’s team from the School of Urban Design stood out and blew the winning bugles.

Participating teams rowing hard

Remarkably, it was the second time that girls from the School of Foreign Languages and Literature took the crown since the competition first began. Zhao Jun, the leader of the team, said proudly, “The slogan ‘No-pains-no-gains best represents the dragon boat team in our school! Our players have got hurt, abraded and broken down, and they rowed oars hundreds of times, even to the point of physical exhaustion in the previous training. But when you get to the top, everything is worth it! Zhao had deeply realized the cohesion brought by competitive sports since winning the championship the year before last, and she hoped to pass on this spirit to more people.

Girls on the dragon boat

Obviously, it was not an honor that could be achieved through single power or within a few days. It was a triumph of a team owing to all members sparing no effort and continuously endeavoring for a shared goal. “When referring to the collective sports activities, I have participated in a variety of relays since childhood. But even in running, you are still one person. The dragon boat race that has finished just now, however, is totally different. No matter whether you are on the boat or on the shore, individuals were like a drop of water harmoniously dripping into the same waters. The sense of participation is so strong!” said Li Lingluming, a team member of the School of Foreign Languages and Literature.

Yin Jiarui, an onsite staff member, said, “Before entering the competition scene as a staff member, I had no specific concept of the dragon-boat tug-of-war. It wasnt until I stood by the pool and watched the water rippling in the sunshine that I felt a sense of hindsight and unquenchable excitement. I saw the players clenching their teeth to try their best to win, the poolside students loudly cheering for the players, the losing team congratulating the winner and juniors sincerely thanking the seniors. I did not participate in the competition, but I felt the charm of dragon-boat tug-of-war within myself .”

Participants struggling

There are many ways to elucidate the meaning of youth, and this time it is endeavor, unity, and tenacity. The warm sunshine in autumn casting rippling shadows on the swimming pool brightened the youth of each energetic person. In the sun, those young people were engraving their shining days. The wave within their hearts is always stirring, just like their bright youth will never die.

Photo by Lin Yangjie

Edited by Zhang Jing, Zheng Zicheng,Hu Zheng, Zhang Yilin, Sylvia, Xi Bingqing


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