Vancouver Olympics: Chinese female athletes leave male peers in the powder

Vancouver Olympics: Chinese female athletes leave male peers in the powder

With eight medals to their names, Chinese Olympic athletes are doing well, or at least, the women are. Where are the men?
chinese athletes 3000m skating vancourver olympics
China's Hui Zhang pushes teammate Linlin Sun (left) as South Korea's Eun-byul Lee pushes Min-jung Kim during the women's 2010 Winter Olympics 3,000m short-track relay final.

Recent Chinese news headlines have been filled with the country's win at the Vancouver winter Olympics: “Chinese women skate to gold as Koreans get the click flick” , “Expectations Flying High for Chinese Ski Team” and “China wins women's 3,000 relay gold”. One thing that seems to be missing: the men.

While China is racking up the medal count (four gold, two silver and two bronze medals), it’s the Chinese female athletes that are carrying the flag highest. Six of China’s eight medals, and three of the four gold medals, were won by women. China’s Zhao Hongbo and Tong Jian are the sole male representatives, and both shared their wins with a female partner. Zhao won gold in figure skating with Shen Xue, while Tong and Pang Qing took silver, also in figure skating. 

Blogger Jenny Zhu talks about this phenomena in detail calling it 阴盛阳衰 (yin sheng yang shuai), meaning the "rise of the women, decline of the men” explained in terms of Yin (female) and Yang (male). 

Whether or not the forces of Yin and Yang are at work is up for debate, but the talk that's filling headlines is another power struggle, the rise of the Chinese speed skating team who took gold in the 3,000-meter skating relay over South Korea once the South Koreans were disqualified.

Although the South Koreans finished first, they were disqualified for “clicking skates with China with five laps to go,” reports Shanghai Daily. “South Korea's Kim Min-jung was in the lead when her left skate blade clicked the right blade of China's Sun Linlin.”

The 3,000m event was especially contentious since China has lost to South Korea in this race four times since 1992.

Overall Chinese women have done well in short track events, with Wang Meng, and Zhou Yang taking golds in their respective 500m and 1,500m events.

China’s men have a chance to make a medal comeback today, Friday, as the ski team competes in the aerials finals at 10am. Earlier this week Jia Zongyang, 18, placed first in the men's aerials qualifying round, with teammates Qi Guangpu finishing in 10th place and Liu Zhongqing in 11th place.

Update: Liu Zhongqing took the bronze medal in men's freestyle aerials.

A borough-bred Manhattanite, editor and writer Jessica Beaton lived in Shanghai for five years and has now moved to Hong Kong.

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