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Chinese Champions Complete Debut Term on Campus

The first group of elite athletes in the University of Wisconsin-Madison's new "Chinese Champions" program will be returning home to Beijing in early December. 

To mark the success of this program, the group was introduced to the Board of Regents Dec. 9 and were also celebrated at a farewell banquet Dec. 5.  The latter event included a symbolic "graduation ceremony," complete with mortar boards and tassels handed out by Division of International Studies Dean Gilles Bousquet. 

The Champions program, spearheaded by UW-Madison kinesiology professor Li-li Ji, will continue for another three years.  Beijing Sports University will be sending the next group of top athletes to Madison in the summer of 2011.

Writing about the program in the Capital Times, reporter Adam Mertz described it as part of an international movement to encourage student-athlete exchanges:

"The nine participants (in the UW-Madison Chinese Champions program), a mixture of athletes and coaches whose resumes are packed with Olympic medals and world championships, didn't play a single snap, run a single race or swim a single lap for the Badgers this fall. Instead, they took part in a rigorous academic and cultural immersion program aimed at preparing them to become international leaders in athletics, while also developing their English-speaking skills. Along the way, the word "Wisconsin" was introduced to roughly 20 million Chinese people thanks to publicity the program received in the homeland and locally, according to the university."

Read the entire article, from The Capital Times.

Chinese Champions Presentation


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Click here to learn about President Obama’s “100,000 Strong Initiative” to increase the number and diversity of American students studying in China.


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Wisconsin China Initiative, Division of International Studies, 500 Lincoln Drive, Madison, Wisconsin 53706

phone: 608.265.6640 email: ldennis@international.wisc.edu