When China played host to the country’s first snow polo tournament in February, teams from several countries including Argentina entertained the crowds that gathered at Tianjin Metropolitan Polo Club.
Beneath the shadow of towering ice sculptures, the event had more of the feel of a pretentious society outing than a genuine embrace of serious high-goal polo. The Chinese, we remarked, seek to make the sport as elite, status-soaked and unattainable as possible for the country’s nouveau riche to enjoy.
Now more evidence from The Wall Street Journal’s Chuin-Wei Yap who says another Argentine polo export is exploding among Chinese women: polo boots. Horacio Moschetto, the president of the Argentina Footwear Chamber, told Dow Jones Newswire that the industry had locked up a huge sale of women’s polo boots to China, so either Chinese female polo leagues are forming in record number or the tony gallerias in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou are stocking up for fall.
While Chinese polo passion might still have more to do with society and status,Yap says there is a group of Argentines in China who are now serving as ambassadors of the game under the banner of China Polo Clubs. The company’s website suggests they are looking to develop and manage polo clubs in China while tapping “all the products and services related with the sport, as well as the professionals that will sustain the clubs: players, grooms, instructors, veterinarians.”
Considering that most, if not all, of those professionals will be relocating from Argentina to China to promote the game, polo could become a cultural and recreational bridge that brings the two countries together. And if not, at least the Chinese women will look amazing in their new boots. (Full Story in WSJ)
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