Ye Shiwen,16 years old, has not only won two gold medals in the 2012 Olympics, but she is also the first woman to swim faster than the best man.
Ye set the world record for the 400 metre Women’s Individual Medley, beating American Ryan Lochte’s last 50 meters in the same event by a whole second.
Rest of the world: not so cool, calm and collected.
Ye’s incredible success has been sullied by the disbelief from the majority of the western world. The legitimacy of her victory has been openly doubted, and she has been questioned about whether or not she has been using performance-enhancing drugs. Ye has calmly dismissed doping allegations, and attributes her success to hard work and years of dedication.
Olympic rivalry between China and the USA is highlighted in the Olympics because the only way that China can compete is in sports. Chinese sports executive Wei Jizhong said, “for the Chinese people, the gold medal means something in politics”.
The 2012 Olympics should be about global unity, but when it comes down to national pride there is a great deal of pressure for the Olympians to win gold medals. It is this drive that leads to allegations and an ‘us versus them’ mentality. China feels like they need to constantly play catch-up, and when they succeed they are contested.
This ‘us versus them’ mentality is highlighted in a comment from Ye’s father that the west are viewing China through ‘coloured lenses’.
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