Jon Howse talks hockey, luge crash mars Olympic test event, and Zhang Weili loses UFC decision

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This week on the China Sports Insider Podcast, a near-fatal accident at Beijing's Olympic luge track at a test event leaves a Polish athlete recovering in a Chinese hospital (1:52), former UFC strawweight champion Zhang Weili loses her bid to reclaim her title in a gritty split decision against Rose Namajunas in front of a heavily partisan crowd at Madison Square Garden (8:15), Formula 1 extends the Chinese Grand Prix through 2025 despite a third straight COVID cancellation (14:43), and China attempts to keep its slim FIFA World Cup hopes alive with a couple of qualifiers this week (17:03).

Mark and Haig also talk to Jon Howse about hockey development in China (18:41). Howse arrived from Canada in 2015 to coach hockey and describes the highs of working with legendary Chinese figure skater Chen Lu and her skating academies, as well as the lows of witnessing physical abuse by coaches against youth team players (23:40). Howse also discusses how quickly hockey infrastructure is growing in China (27:42), predicts when a China-born athlete might make it to the NHL (28:30), defines what would constitute "success" for China’s national team at the Olympics (30:27), explains why the female side of hockey in China is a bright spot for development (30:27), and tells stories of performance bonuses being offered to kids as young as six (36:45).

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16 episodes