Olympic Chinese diver learns grandparents died only after winning gold medal, family kept it secret

By on Aug 2, 2012 in Asia, Europe, Sports Comments

Wu Minxia, the Chinese diver, who recently won gold medal in the 3-meter women’s synchronized springboard along with He Zi last week in the London Olympics, recently learned that her grandparents passed away more than a year ago. Her family has kept it secret from her so that she will not be distracted during her training.

Olympic Chinese diver Wu Minxia
Image Credit: AFP/Getty Images

As noted at Yahoo Sports on Wednesday, August 1, 2012, Wu Minxia began her daily diving training when she was only 6 years old. She left home at the age of 16 and stayed in a government aquatic training institute to focus on her sports, which is part of China‘s culture in handling athletes.

According to the report, Wu‘s mother was diagnosed to be suffering from breast cancer and her family also decided not to tell her about it, along with the death of her grandparents. The 26-year old Chinese diver learned both secrets only after her family thought it is now the right time to tell her.

“We accepted a long time ago that she doesn’t belong entirely to us. I don’t even dare to think about things like enjoying family happiness.” Minxia‘s father Wu Yuming was quoted telling to Shanghai Morning Post, with China notably known for usually taking their athletes away from their families during their early years.

“It was essential to tell this white lie.” Wu Yuming added, noting that her success has come with a high price which includes not being with her family in most times, with the story of Wu‘s family keeping secrets from her has generated huge discussion within the country.

Wu Minxia, who won gold medals in the same event in last two Summer Olympics back in 2004 and 2008, is now the first woman to win gold medal in three consecutive Olympic Games, as China continues to dominate in the London 2012 medal count.

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