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Yao Ming Leads the PKU 2021 Cohort on Their "First Run"

SEP . 07 2021

Peking University, September 7: Cai Yuanpei, the president of PKU in the early twentieth century, pushed for the value of physical education in talent development. PKU is committed to nurturing students into well-rounded and high-quality talents with national integrity who would go on to contribute to society's progress. As a result, PKU possesses a rich sporting heritage and a thriving sports culture that encourages students to participate in sports, whether it's through night runs, annual sports culture day and sports meetings, or through sports associations such as including orienteering, mountaineering, basketball, badminton, baseball.

On the evening of September 6, the 2021 cohort of Peking University students gathered at Wu-si Sports Center in high spirits to take part in their "First Run" at PKU. PKU has a tradition of organizing collective running activities on a weekly basis to promote the concept that a person's holistic development begins with not just educating the mind, but also exercising the body.

This year's 2021 cohort "First Run" was joined by prominent figures in China's athletics industry including Yao Ming, chairman of the Chinese Basketball Association, and Sun Yujie, PKU Alumna and gold medalist in the women's fencing competition, who now teaches at PKU, both having made outstanding contributions to China's sporting success.


Yao Ming


Sun Yujie

The students met on the tracks for a 15-minute warm-up session, ensuring that their muscles were properly warmed up for the night run. The Wu-si Sports Center was buzzing with anticipation and adrenaline leading up to the moment everyone was waiting for.

The start of the 2021 Cohort "First Run" was announced by PKU President Hao Ping. Following that, Yao Ming fired the starting pistol, and students burst into a run alongside teachers and peers. Surrounded by such a friendly and encouraging environment, and in front of the greatest sporting athletes in China, students were motivated to run better than ever.


On the field, freshman counsellors arranged national flags and created a five-ring formation in the spirit of the Olympic games. The Tokyo Olympic Games has just passed, but Beijing Winter Olympics is nearing. In the Wu-si Sports Center, everyone celebrated their anticipation for the upcoming Beijing Winter Olympics. The students gathered together to snap photos, capturing cherished moments of themselves with the national flag and five rings cantered in front of them. As the event neared its conclusion, students from the 2021 cohort sang the school song Yan Yuan Qing together for the first time.

The 2021 Cohort "First Run" marked a great start to the new school year. The evening was brimming with vitality, energy, and spirit. Students embodied positive values, spread the joy of sports, and displayed true sportsmanship, making this day truly a day to remember. The youth symbolize a new generation of hopes, and thus, the heart of PKU blazes with vitality.

Writer: June Tan Rui Min
Editor: Amanda Hu, Pu Hairui
Video: Li Mingzhu, Wang Hui, Yang Ningjie, Song Yuhan
Photo: PKU Media Center, PKU Department of PE