Interviewer: Chuanyi Liu
Liu：Today’s theme is winter sports. I heard that you are very good at skiing and used to go with the students in your seminar class every winter. I was born and raised in a cold area and used to ski a lot back home. Japan is very famous for its ski resorts and has hosted the winter olympics. Every year, many foreigners come to ski.
Mende： Well, I`m not that good at skiing. When I was younger skiing was pretty popular, but I never took to it. I started when I was 50. What other winter sports do you do?
Liu：When I was in China, I lived in the northern area and skied often. I started snowboarding this year. The thrill of speed and feel of wind on your face is addicting. Snowboarding is a great sport. Making a run across the snow and the feel of snowflakes on your cheeks is an unforgettable experience in a snowy and icy world. Snowboarding is also a great way to experience the outdoors. I think seeing the beautiful colors of a snowy landscape, breathing fresh mountain air, and the feeling of being one with nature is very relaxing.
Mende： Sometimes when I attack a slope aggressively, I feel like I am the wind. That is the real thrill in skiing.
Liu：In the beginning I thought it was very scary. It is kind of like riding a bike. Until you can handle the speed you are going to fall down a lot.
Mende：It is not just a feeling, but balance. It is the same in the water. With scuba diving you have to control and use your breath for buoyancy to be able to move up or go down in the water. When you can do this you feel like you have become a fish, the same feeling as becoming the wind while skiing.
Liu：Do you have a favorite ski resort? Or a recommendation?
Mende： I haven’t been to that many places, but when I started skiing at 50, I went to Niseko in Hokkaido every year. Staying three or four nights and we would go out on the slopes everyday. The powder snow is incredible. Have you been to Niseko?
Liu：Hokkaido is pretty far away, so not yet. I went to Nagano and Niigata last winter. But, Niseko is very famous, so if I have a chance I really want to go.
Mende：Today’s theme is winter sports, but do you play any other sports?
Liu：Sometimes I play table tennis or badminton.
Mende：For those that don’t really enjoy winter sports, table tennis is an easy option to enjoy sports. Even more so than badminton. Is that why table tennis is so popular in China?
Liu：Maybe so! Last year Beijing hosted the Winter Olympics, but if you want to go skiing in China, just getting to the ski resorts is relatively expensive and time consuming. So I think that is why sports like table tennis and badminton are more popular. In southern China badminton is popular, but in the northern parts more people play table tennis.
Mende：I thought in the northern areas of China it is cold enough and the mountains are close enough that more people would be enjoying skiing and snowboarding. Maybe not so in Southern China.
Liu：Yes, most Olympians are from northern China.
Mende：I see now the relationship between sports and where you live. Lighting designers also need to get out and be active during the winter months and not just sit at a desk all day.
Liu：It might be interesting to investigate the lighting environment for night skiing. I think not only during the winter months, but sports and going out is also very good for cultivating creativity, the capacity to concentrate, refreshing the body, and generating new ideas.
Maybe, if the opportunity arises, the whole office should take a trip to go skiing.
Thank you for our talk today.