When the song Beijing premiered on Tuesday, many of the listeners were amazed to find that it was written not by a professional, but a retired military doctor from Russia, Vladimir Vorobyov.
"I am flying to a land distant and fertile. Fantastic China covered with white snow. Behind the Great Wall my destination appears. Beijing is waiting for the Olympic athletes," read the lyrics.
"I really wanted to write a song about Beijing as the host city of the Winter Olympics, a global event. In news stories, I saw what a huge amount of work China has been doing to prepare for the games," Vorobyov said.
He aimed to compose "a solemn and inspiring melody" with the lyrics in harmony with the tunes for all the organizers, athletes and sports fans, but it was not an easy job since he has never been to China and does not know the Chinese language.
Vorobyov hadn't made much progress since he started in August 2021, but "a miracle" happened in early October after he watched many hours of online videos about China to seek "vivid emotions."
"At night I dreamed that I was in China. I woke up with an amazing feeling as if I had just returned from a trip there. In the morning, the first lines of lyrics appeared and the tunes began to emerge. By the evening, I was already humming the song," he recalled.
The experience was even more impressive given that Vorobyov, was never trained to be a professional musician.
In his youth, Vorobyov, who has created more than 20 songs since 2007, was keen on writing poems and composing music.
Besides, he is good at football, volleyball, basketball and has often engaged in boxing, wrestling and kettlebell lifting while he was young. Now he does morning exercises for 40-50 minutes every day.
"If time allows, I want to watch the competitions in Beijing. I like ice hockey, cross-country skiing and figure skating in particular," said Vorobyov.