Rio Olympics: Team China

8c89a590f56c191f53580fThis week wrapped up the end of the Rio Olympic Games. I want to congratulate all of the athletes, particularly the ones I have worked with so closely in Beijing this year: Sun Yanan, Zhang Fengliu, Zhong Xuechun, and Zhou Feng (women’s wrestling) and Yu Song (women’s judo). The Olympics are an exhilarating stage on which athletes showcase their life’s work. Each individual athlete’s story reflects undying work ethic, challenges overcome, successes, failures, and lots of tears. While watching these young athlete’s dreams come true on the podium, I can’t help but feel a sense of compassion and empathy for those whose Olympic experiences were not what they had hoped. In fact, I actually feel terrible thinking about the 4th place athlete or the one who got injured during the first lap — not because I value them based on their performance, rather I’m afraid they do. This actually caused me to find it difficult watching my girls compete!

sun_yanan_2016_olympics_usatsi_9477065_1920That being said, I’m extremely proud of my amazing athletes for having worked so hard to get to this stage, overcoming injuries and emotional struggles. I’m so happy that I was able to get to know each of them – and their teammates – despite the face that I’m convinced they were trying to make me fat with all of the cookies… In the end, Sun Yanan, Zhang Fengliu, and Yu Song brought home bronze medals and all of the athletes are now back in their provinces preparing for the China Games next September. And with that, I’m heading to Boston for my next adventure. To my girls — I’ll see you next year in Tianjin at the games!

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