Zhou Yang: Skating on thin ice

Zhou Yang: Skating on thin ice

Olympic gold medalist comes under fire for her honest responses to empty gestures
Zhou Yang
Zhou Yang aims for the gold during the Short Track Speed Skating Ladies 1,500m final of this year's Winter Olympics.
Chinese speed-skater Zhou Yang (周洋) tore it up at the Vancouver Olympics this year, taking home a gold medal in the women’s speed-skating 1,500 meter final.

But Zhou’s record-breaking performance was eclipsed by the remarks she made after the fact. When asked what her gold medal win meant to her, Zhou responded: “The gold medal will bring a lot of changes to my life. I will be more confident and it will improve the lives of my parents.”

Kids these days! It’s all, “my mother’s health” this and “my father’s well-being” that. Fortunately Yu Zaiqing (于再清), deputy director of China’s State General Administration of Sports went on the record to set Zhou straight: “It is okay to thank your parents [after winning the gold medal], but you must thank your country first and foremost. Don’t just mention gratitude for parents and then leave it at that.”

Damn straight.

Yu also noted that today’s athletes needed a stronger grasp of “sports ethics.” Judging from Zhou’s gratitude to her family after her big win, she certainly hasn’t been getting enough ethics in her Wheaties.

Zhou is under fire again this week, with netizens calling her greedy and opportunistic. When the Party secretary in her hometown of Changchun asked her, “What more can we do for you?” Zhou had the cajones to respond: “My parents are still out of jobs.”

Zhou forgot to mention that her parents take home the princely sum of RMB 1,000 each month selling handmade sweaters and lottery tickets. Someone better school this child in ethics right quick before her demands get out of hand. 

Abby hails from Washington D.C. and bounced around Hong Kong, Singapore, Massachusetts and Egypt before arriving in Shanghai in 2007.

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