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China Sports Officials: Athletes Should Thank Their Country before Their Parents

China’s top sports officials advised to prioritize athlete’s educaion regarding virtue. They were infuriated that some athletes thanked their parents instead of their country after winning competitions.  

They especially pointed to Zhou Yang, the gold medalist of the women’s 1500 meter short track speed skating at the 2010 Winter Olympic Game. Zhou Yang’s speech of “(My winning) can bring my dad and mom a better life,” moved many people.  

Yu Zaiqing, Deputy Director of the State Physical Cultural Administration and Vice President of International Olympic Committee said that Zhou Yang should have first thanked the country and secondly her parents. Yu argued that it was the country that was responsible for Zhou’s competitive abilities, providing for and subsidizing her training.

Yu’s criticism drew a hot discussion on the Internet and text messages flew back and forth. The netizens were overwhelmingly in support of Zhou Yang.

Source: China News Service, March 8, 2010