Unusual Way of China to Get Medals on the Beijing Olympics — Foreigners Competing as Chinese Citizens | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Unusual Way of China to Get Medals on the Beijing Olympics — Foreigners Competing as Chinese Citizens

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Tani from the United States, who won medals in three skiing events. His trademark is a frog headdress (Image: Afro)

My biggest goal is to not only have fun, but to push the envelope. I am so honored. It’s changed my life.”

The women’s halfpipe final at the Beijing Winter Olympics on February 18. China’s Gu Ailing (18), who won the gold medal, spoke confidently to reporters. It was the third time for Gu to be on the podium, after Big Air (gold) and Slow Style (silver). As China has won only one gold medal in skiing at the Winter Olympics so far, Gu has become a star as a “savior.

Gu was born in San Francisco, California, in September 2003 to an American father and a Chinese mother. She was born in San Francisco, California in September 2003 to an American father and a Chinese mother, and her English name is Irene Gu. She holds an MBA from Stanford University and has also worked as a model for Gucci and Louis Vuitton. It’s said that she has nearly 30 sponsorship contracts with companies.

It was in 2007 that Tani suddenly became a Chinese citizen. She said it was to participate in the Beijing Olympics, and explained at the time, “I want to be a Chinese citizen. At the time, she explained, “China (not the U.S.) is my home. In China, she is a very popular person who is featured in TV programs and commercials.

The Beijing Olympics closed on February 20. The Beijing Olympics, which closed on February 20, may have been influenced by the merits of being the host country, but China won the largest number of medals to date. China won nine gold medals, far more than the previous record of five in the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. China’s total medal count jumped to 15 from 11 at the Vancouver Olympics and the Torino Olympics in 2006.

One of the reasons for this was the success of Tani and other naturalized foreign athletes. It’s not just skiing that Tani specializes in. In the men’s national ice hockey team, 15 of the 25 players are from the United States and Canada.

Jake Chelios, 31, from Chicago, USA, changed his name just before the Beijing Olympics. In Chinese characters, he changed his name to Jieke Kailiosu (傑克凱利奥斯). Chelios’ father, Chris, was a Hall of Famer in the North American professional ice hockey “NHL”. Also, 13 of the 23 members of the women’s national ice hockey team have foreign roots.” (Ibid.)

If you don’t get the results, go to ……

Tani once represented the United States at the World Championships (Image: Afro)

Naturalized athletes are not universally admired in China. If they don’t produce results, they get bashed more than necessary. Zhu Yi, 19, a female figure skater, has been the target of criticism.

Zhu Yi, 19, a female figure skater from Los Angeles, USA, became a Chinese citizen in 2006. However, in the short program of the team competition held on February 6, she made a series of mistakes, including a fall in a jump. China finished with 47.30 points, the lowest among the 10 participating countries.

In the free skate on the following day, China also lacked finesse and came in last place. Zhu, who could only speak a few words of Chinese, was heavily criticized on the Internet. A skating federation official said, “It’s a disgrace,” “Why didn’t they choose a Chinese-born athlete to represent the team?

President Xi Jinping has set the goal of realizing a “strong nation in sports” for the “great reconstruction of the Republic of China. The income from the nationality of leading overseas athletes may be part of this. However, there is also a negative side. After the women’s figure team competition, the British newspaper Daily Mail reported that

A figure skater who went from being a U.S. citizen to a Chinese citizen is being subjected to unusual bashing. China has prepared at least 12 naturalized athletes for the Beijing Olympics. There was a disparity in their responses, and Zhu was criticized because she could not speak Chinese satisfactorily. He must have felt more intense pressure than at the Olympics in any other country.

Of course, it is wonderful to see people from diverse backgrounds participating in sporting events. Of course, it’s great that people from diverse backgrounds participate in sports, but the case of China, where athletes were criticized because of their lack of results and inability to speak their native language, is problematic. This will likely remain an issue for future competitions.

Tani, who is also active as a model, pictured at the Paris Collection in Spring/Summer 2008 (Image: Afro)
Zhu, a figure skater from the U.S., made a series of mistakes during the competition. She was bashed (Image: Kyodo News)
Zhu breaks down in tears after her performance (Image: Kyodo News)
  • Photo Afro Kyodo News

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