Eighteen-year-old Zhou Yang became a national hero after she won a gold medal in the women's 1,500 meters short-track speed skating during the Vancouver Winter Olympics last month. But the girl from a poor family in the northeastern rustbelt of Jilin province also made herself an idol of millions of Chinese youngsters with her unconventionally candid remarks in front of the TV camera after the award ceremony: Zhou didn't thank China first; she thanked her parents instead--and just her parents.
"The gold medal will bring a lot of changes to my life. I will be more confident and it will improve the life of my parents," Zhou told China Central Television on that day. Such straight talk breaks the tradition of Chinese athletes feeling obliged to thank the government or at least the motherland first and on most occasions, even avoiding the reference to family or themselves.
However, apparently not everyone appreciates Zhou's love of her family and hopes of a better life.One of China's top sports officials criticized the gold medalist Sunday during a group discussion of the annual meeting of China's legislature.
Yu Zaiqing, deputy director of the National Sports Bureau and a vice chairman of the International Olympic Committee, told fellow lawmakers, "It's fine to thank your mom and dad (for the gold medal) but one needs to thank the country first and foremost."
Yu called Zhou a kid and said "while the Western way of expression_r_r is very good, there were things in her heart that the kid didn't fully express." He was of course referring to the mandatory patriotic element.
"We know very well how much the country needs to invest in the athletes in order to make them champions. The kids also know very well that their coaches have treated them like their own children," Yu said.
Yu might have thought such commentary was totally inoffensive but it has drawn a widespread lashing from netizens, especially the young ones, who overwhelmingly came out in support of Zhou Yang and questioned Yu's "Thank the motherland first" reprimand.
"You are the champion. That's why the motherland embraces you. If you aren't, only your mom would hug you," commented a netizen by the name of Chen Danling.
2010-03-14 12:13 编辑：kuaileyingyu
All you remember about your child being an infant is the incredible awe you felt about the precious miracle you created. You remember having plenty of time to bestow all your wisdo
According to USA Today on July 15, Yuan Qingpeng said the Chinese who have become rich under the economic reform movement in China are worried. They're worried their spoiled kids w