|Chinese President Xi Jinping (C, 3rd row) poses for a group photo with members of the Chinese Youth Olympic delegation in Nanjing, capital of east China's Jiangsu province, Aug. 15, 2014. Xi paid a visit to the Chinese Youth Olympic delegation at the Nanjing Youth Olympic Village (YOV) in Nanjing on Friday. (Xinhua/Ma Zhancheng)
BEIJING, Aug. 15 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping has urged the country's contestants in the upcoming Youth Olympic Games (YOG) to strive for athletic excellence with sound manners.
Xi made the remarks on Friday while visiting the Youth Olympic Village in Nanjing, capital of east China's Jiangsu Province. The games will open on Saturday.
"You are not only athletes, but goodwill ambassadors representing all Chinese youth... I hope you enjoy this process of competition, learning and exchange during the games," Xi told young Chinese contestants.
YOG contestants are aged between 15 and 18. The Chinese delegation consists of 180 people, including 123 athletes. Xi encouraged them to maintain mental balance, put down burdens and "remain humble despite victories and hopeful despite losses."
"You should talk to young people from all over the world to boost understanding and friendship," Xi told them.
While meeting with Chinese basketball players, Xi told them to focus on all-round physical training as their bodies are still growing, while urging them to unite and strive for better results.
After hearing athletes talk about their training and thoughts on the games, Xi agreed that the games are a great opportunity to broaden their their minds and learn from foreign counterparts.
While urging them to protect themselves from physical harm, Xi called for athletes to foster great inner strength to prevent their mind and will from faltering during competitions.
"Following the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the Nanjing Youth Games is another Olympic pageant held in China. It's an international games on a huge scale with wide influence, providing a competitive arena for youth across the world, as well as a key platform for them to communicate," Xi said.
According to Xi, the strength of youths are the strength of a country, and such strength concern virtue, knowledge, the innovative spirit, craftsmanship as well as physical health and sportsmanship.
Xi expressed his hope that the performances of China's athletes will influence young people nationwide to exercise, study and improve themselves, a key role in building China for the future.