Cao Jianmin wrote in his work note, “What has moved me is the diligent, hardworking, tough and perseverant style of the national cross-country skiing team. The entire team is full of positive energy and I am very proud of serving for such a cohesive and strenuous team.” He is a professor and doctoral supervisor from the Teaching and Research Office of Sports Biochemistry, School of Sport Science, Beijing Sport University (BSU), and also a member of the technical assistance expert group for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
The COVID-19 epidemic broke out at the beginning of the New Year. The members of the national cross-country skiing team were unable to return to Beijing due to the epidemic, and the preparation work planned originally was in a dilemma. Appointed by the Party Committee of BSU, Cao Jianmin went to the Bashang National Skiing Training Base in Chengde, Hebei for the first time to provide the science and technology services of sports nutrition for the national cross-country skiing team. Given the cold training environment and the practical difficulties of assistants’ absence, the leaders and colleagues were worried that it would be too burdensome for Cao Jianmin, who is nearly sixty years old, to undertake all the tasks, but he firmly said, “It is my duty to meet the national needs. The more difficult the moment is, the more courage we need to take the heavy burden and forge ahead.”
The severe tests were faced by Cao Jianmin one after another once he arrived at the training base and understood the basic situation of the team.
The 25 members of the national cross-country skiing team are mostly selected from other sports projects and not familiar with the nutritional requirements of cross-country skiers and their own current dietary nutrition problems. Cao Jianmin formulates dietary nutrition and sports nutrition supplement plans according to the characteristics of cross-country skiing competition and the features of athletes’ material and energy metabolism during training and competition, and observes the collocation of the athletes’ three meals every day and gives adjustment suggestions to guide the athletes to reasonably match meals. Meanwhile, he sets up the courses on the relationship between dietary nutrition and athletic ability to help the athletes develop good dietary habits. In addition, he also adjusts sports nutriments to maximize the effectiveness of nutritional supplements.
As a high-intensity sports project on snow, the cross-country skiing has extremely high requirements on athletes’ physical strength and endurance. That is why it is one of the key tasks for Cao Jianmin to establish and improve the energy supplement stations for cross-country skiers. He appears punctually at the training snack spot during the trainings every morning and afternoon and arranges energy supplements, to promote athletes’ physical regeneration during the training and ensure that the athletes can withstand high-load trainings. His firm companionship in the environment of -20℃ and gale and scientific and effective energy supply have moved the athletes and brought them endless energy.
The totally closed management during the epidemic prevented the physiological and biochemical monitors of the cross-country skiing team from returning to the team, and the scientific monitoring of sports training was forced to be interrupted. Cao Jianmin took the initiative to monitor the athletes’ physical function besides his own heavy work, designed a physiological and biochemical monitoring program for special sports training of cross-country skiing, and undertook the collection of athletes’ urine and peripheral blood and the analysis and routine tests of their body composition and blood cells. The tests several times a day and the timely feedback of test results have made the sports training monitoring platform work normally, ensuring the scientific training of the entire team.
All difficulties have been solved. Cao Jianmin, with his outstanding professional ability and effective service guarantee, has deepened the athletes’ understanding of reasonable diet and scientific supplement of sports nutrition, and laid a solid foundation for the preparation of the team for the Winter Olympics and the improvement of performance.
In the current epidemic situation, Cao Jianmin struggles to prepare for the Winter Olympics in the front line. He has always fought side by side with the national cross-country skiing team without any complaint whether in the data collection and testing from dawn to night or in the cold training and living environment with ice and snow. Cao Jianmin, with his own practical actions, has fulfilled the work requirements of “epidemic prevention and preparation for the Winter Olympics”, interpreted the determination and courage to face the difficulties at the critical moment, and practiced the spirit of “Always Striving to Fulfill Our Mission”, which is just performed by him in the epidemic test as a teacher of BSU.