The essence of sports is participation while that of the epidemic is isolation. Is there any other association between these two seemingly opposite realms? When our lives have changed from normal to abnormal due to the Covid-19 pandemic, can we find a "new normal" in sports? On August 16, the third and final online sharing session of the 16th Beijing International Sports Film Week was held when three guests examined the "Role of Sports in Fighting the Covid-19 Pandemic" based on what they did, saw and thought during the pandemic.
The three were Wang Renfan, film and TV critic, member of the film review team; Yan Xinmin, founder of the China Football Film Festival; and Zhang Lei, chief editor of Tencent Sports. The sharing event was simultaneously launched on collaboration platforms such as Tencent Sports, Tencent Video, and PP Sports, and gained great popularity among sports fans and netizens.
"Sports and the pandemic seem unrelated. But in fact, sports that emphasize cohesion play a big role in epidemic prevention and control," Wang Renfan explained. Citing the film Physical Education Class during Covid-19 Pandemic of the film week as an example, Wang said that after the initial victory in the fight against Covid-19, sports activities and facilities such as parks and tennis courts were the first to reopen. The pandemic brought misery, but also an opportunity for people to reflect on wrong habits in daily life and to understand the spirit of sports more deeply.
During the pandemic, Yan Xinmin accidentally discovered the joy of individual sports though she is dedicated to a team sport: football. She set up a table tennis table and a tennis practice wall at home. Yan said that sports are ubiquitous; during the pandemic, many people actively participated in mass fitness events after the early panic despite social distancing norms. Balcony fitness and indoor marathon activities allowed people to understand the power of sports, and the social nature of sports has not been broken by the pandemic.
"The pandemic made people realize that sports is actually an indispensable part of life. There is still a large scope for sports to improve people’s spirit," Yan said, adding that when normal life becomes abnormal, people need to try to find the "new normal", and sports play a very important role in the process.
Zhang Lei said that from a positive angle, the pandemic provided an opportunity for introspection for people from all walks of life. "Sports has always been a part of many people's life. Many people felt uncomfortable when they were forced to stop sports activities, especially high-level athletes who engage in competitive sports. During this period, they also paid more attention to themselves," Zhang Lei said, and suggested paying close attention to the psychological condition of high-level athletes.
The three guests agreed that sports should become a habit for all. No matter what happens in the future, people will be able to overcome difficulties with sports as the support pillar.
The sharing sessions of the 16th Beijing International Sports Film Week concluded on August 16. The host and guests shared their thoughts and views around various themes, interpreted the sports films, and raised new expectations for integration of sports and films.
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