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September 3, 2016

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Home » Sports » Diving

Wu honored with local lifetime achievement award

SHANGHAI diver Wu Minxia was awarded the Magnolia Lifetime Achievement Award In Sports by the city government yesterday for her contribution to the pool sport in a career spanning 18 years.

Wu partnered Shi Tingmao to win the women’s synchronized 3-meter springboard gold at the 2016 Rio Games — her fourth and final Olympic appearance. With a total of five gold medals, one silver and one bronze collected since 2004, the 31-year-old became China’s top Olympic medal owner.

“When I stood onto the springboard, I still felt a bit nervous,” Wu said, describing her final on August 7. “But I managed to adjust soon and wanted myself to enjoy the moment that belonged to me. When I completed the last dive smoothly, the feeling I got was of exhaustion.”

Wu attended the commendation meeting held by the city government for Shanghai athletes who returned from Rio. Shanghai sent a team consisting of 32 athletes and 13 coaches to Brazil. They captured three golds, three silvers and four bronzes for China.

Though the city yesterday acknowledged Wu’s contribution, only those close to her know how much time and effort she devotes to training. Wu has switched partners from retired world champion Guo Jingjing to He Zi, and then to Shi, who is seven years her junior. The strong affection towards the sports is the only reason Wu has chosen to hold on so far.

“My teammates gave me the nickname ‘train-aholic’ as I was always the one working the hardest in practice,” said Wu. “Due to age and injuries, I had to spend two hours on physiotherapy after training every day. Diving occupied all my life, and I go for training every time hoping not to collect more injuries.

“I feel like a sword on a grindstone. I am getting sharper day by day, but also thinner and fragile. But despite all, I am a lucky person.”

“Tired” was the word Wu used a lot when talking to media. “I want to spend more time with my parents, and enrich myself with more knowledge. I am willing to continue making contribution to China’s diving, if given a chance.”

It’s been reported that Wu might take up a governmental job after retirement — a common enough practice among retired athletes. Those who have taken that path include Olympic champions like table tennis legend Deng Yaping and local star hurdler Liu Xiang.


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