One of China's advantages is having the financial resources to make such shifts worthwhile. Success in Turin begat a surge in corporate interest, and with sponsorships from such companies as Nike and General Electric—as well as a national sports lottery—some Chinese winter programs have grown flush. That first crop of Chinese snowboarders prompted Hutchinson to try replicating the results with a handful of Canadian divers and gymnasts, but after a few years his funding was cut. No one envisions Beijing dropping such an ax anytime soon.
"China," Hutchinson says with a laugh, "never says, 'We don't have the money.'"