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Silver and bronze are golden too

[ 2012-07-31 11:10] 来源:中国日报网     字号 [] [] []  
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Despite winning silver in the men's 56kg weightlifting event at the Olympic Games, Wu Jingbiao, Chinese double world champion, apologized profusely for, as he put it, letting down his fans and his country in an interview with China Central Television on Monday.

"I feel terribly guilty for disappointing my country, the Chinese weightlifting team and all the people who supported me," he said fighting the tears in front of the camera. "I really wanted to be the best but I didn't make it," he said. "I am sorry!"

The CCTV reporter hugged Wu, 23, and told him that it was a proud achievement to win the silver medal and he would have another opportunity.

After all, the Olympic maxim states that it is not the winning but the taking part that counts.

Back in China, public opinion and online comments overwhelmingly supported Wu and other Chinese athletes who failed to get gold. The obsession for Olympic gold should not lessen the remarkable feat of getting an Olympic medal of whatever hue, they said.

"It's understandable that Wu regretted not getting the gold but he has nothing to apologize for," said Guangzhou resident Wu Zhilin, an avid sports fan.

"His reaction shows how much he, as a Chinese athlete, cared about the gold. But winning silver also deserves to be celebrated."

There is no doubt that gold medal winners are given more material rewards and media exposure than other Olympic participants in China.

To some extent, the media are partly responsible for the obsession with gold medals, Wu Zhilin said.

"You see so much media coverage of the gold medalists, from what food they like to revisiting the primary school they attended. The other athletes just fade into the background," he said.

Wang Ling, a 24-year-old tennis fan from Beijing said athletes cannot just produce gold medals.

"Our athletes are not medal machines. They are supposed to enjoy the Games and make people want to join in the spirit and take up sport.

"China used to use gold medals to prove we are a strong nation and gain respect from others. We don't need that anymore."

Olympic athletes said they are simply happy with any medal.

"Is it really a matter of the color of the medal?" asked Timo Boll, German table tennis star who has an outside gold medal chance in London.

"I would prefer gold. But I will also be very satisfied if it's silver or bronze."

Leaving the issue of gold behind, people in China generally are giving their full support to all the athletes.

Weightlifter Zhou Jun failed all three attempts at her first weight in the 53kg division on Monday.

"I wasn't in the best condition," she said later in an interview. "But I really appreciate all the support and concern back in China."

Xiao Hongbo, a professor at the department of journalism at Shanghai University of Sport, highlighted participation.

"This (gold obsession) has got to stop. Otherwise, China may become a nation that wins a lot of gold medals but is still weak in sports," he said.

(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Silver and bronze are golden too

About the broadcaster:

Silver and bronze are golden too

Rosie Tuck is a copy editor at the China Daily website. She was born in New Zealand and graduated from Auckland University of Technology with a Bachelor of Communications studies majoring in journalism and television. In New Zealand she was working as a junior reporter for the New Zealand state broadcaster TVNZ. She is in Beijing on an Asia New Zealand Foundation grant, working as a journalist in the English news department at the China Daily website.