Friday, September 18, 2009

Team China tours Canada

China’s defending world women’s champions were in Toronto last weekend before heading to the Shorty Jenkins Classic tour stop in Brockville, Ontario, which began last night (with an 8-4 Chinese win).

The purpose was a video shoot with the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC) which took them on a jaunt to Niagara Falls, the Toronto Islands, the Bata Museum and, of course, many stores for much shopping.

And, as the Jeff Speed photo indicates, they visited the Hockey Hall of Fame, and gave the venerable Stanley Cup a giant hug. To the viewer’s left of the Cup we have Yin Liu (above) and Qingshuang Yue, and on the viewer’s right we have Yan Zhou (above) and the skipper, Bingyu Betty Wang.

Betty’s father, Da Jun Wang, was also flown in from China to take part in the mostly urban-exploration TV shoot.

“Our big mandate within the Olympic Games is that this really is Canada’s games,” explained the CTC’s John Parker-Jervis.

“The goal is to get this footage into key travel markets through the media. It’s a human interest story, filmed in High-Definition, and this (team China) footage will go to their state broadcaster, CCTV.”

Parker-Jervis said the campagin focusses on nine key markets: the United Kingdom, United States, Germany, France, Mexico, Japan, China, South Korea and Australia.

“We have (targeted) two countries as emerging markets, India and Brazil,” he added.

For a non-curling example, Parker-Jervis told the story of Ghana’s Kwame Nkrumah-Acheampong, the only African athlete set to compete in Vancouver. The skiier has become a celebrity in the UK, where he lives, and as such, that particular CTC footage will be sent to the BBC.

“We’re excited to have curling’s world champions travelling in Canada,” said Michele McKenzie, president and CEO of the Canadian Tourism Commission.

“They have become big stars and having them here helps spread our tourism message to their fans in China and around the world.”

As regular readers of The Curling News are aware, Chinese teams compete in Canada extensively each year from September to November, and again in January and February, prior to the major global competitions.

There are two other Chinese teams in action in Edmonton this weekend, Fengchun Wang’s men’s Olympic team and a women’s development squad skipped by Xindi Zhang.

For the official CTC news release on Team China’s visit, click here.

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