Xinhua editorial responsibility.
(XINHUA) – GUANGZHOU, AUG 29 – When asked what
it feels like to win a gold medal at the
Tokyo Olympics, Quan Hongchan, a 14-year-old diver, didn’t just say
“I’m excited”, but with “I felt a little
pain under my arms,” ​​describing the moment her
coach lifted her to celebrate.
With three perfect 10’s dives, the Chinese Olympian took
gold in the women’s 10m platform with a whopping
466.20 score, the highest in history.
Ever since her victory, the youngest member of
the Chinese delegation has aroused the adoration of the public and the
national fame, both for his quick dips that barely
create a ripple, and for his bubbly
and outspoken personality.
On Chinese social media, Quan’s mini-videos of interviews
went viral. “I would like to go to the
amusement park, play with claw machines and win
lots of dolls” and “I had a desire to own a small
grocery store in my hometown, but now my
dream has risen to a new level: a supermarket “,
the teenager told Xinhua.
Born in a small village in the southern
Chinese province of Guangdong, Quan began diving at the age of
seven years. In 2018 she joined the provincial
diving team and made her Olympic debut in Tokyo just a few months
after joining the national team.
When away from home, the young athlete always carries
a blue soft toy with a big smile on her face, a gift
from her older brother, and giggling she explained: “He
looks a bit like me. We both have toothy smiles.”
When she and the third of five children and her family never
had much extra money, but she never lacked care and
affection; this has transformed her into a
self-sufficient and persevering person.
“I want to thank my parents for always having me
supported. They told me to be brave and that even if
I didn’t win a medal, it would be fine, ”
Quan revealed after getting the gold.
The diver’s gratitude also went to Chen
Huaming, who discovered her in the his native village of less than
2,000 inhabitants.
Its success is also seen as a result of the
eradication of poverty in China and the
rural revitalization initiatives that help promote
fitness-for-all mania, particularly in the countryside.
Guangdong, ad for example, it has installed sports and
fitness facilities in all of its 19,498 administrative villages,
allowing children in rural areas to develop an
interest and find their talent in sport.
Chen explained that the China-sponsored network to
identify and train athletic talent also provides
opportunities for young people to choose competitive sport
as a career.
Sports and education authorities have established
preferential measures to be put in place to ensure athletes have the
best chance of receiving quality education and
finding work when retired.
These actions will facilitate the all-round growth of
athletes. In addition to training, Quan attends classes on his own
like his peers and also has time for hobbies such as
skateboarding and dancing.
As part of the growing number of Chinese athletes who
enjoy growing popularity for both their performance
and personal appeal and compared to their predecessors,
today’s young champions have more resources and are more
willing to share their life stories. outside
the sports fields.
On Sina Weibo, a social media platform, many
athletes updated their accounts with details of
daily life during the quarantine period upon returning from Tokyo, and
posts with the hashtag “athletes’ quarantine diaries”
totaled over 850 million views.
Despite all the fame and popularity, being young
means there is still a long way to go and for Quan, this
means that he will have to compete in a series of national and
international competitions before the 2024 Paris Olympics.
According to Gao Min, the first Chinese Olympic
trampoline champion, who has high expectations of the
young athlete, even puberty is a challenge. Teen divers
have to make many changes to
accommodate their physical growth.
Quan concluded: “I want to be at the top of the
Olympic podium again”. (XINHUA) Xinhua editorial responsibility.
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