Fu Yuanhui Teaches China to Relax at the Olympics


It’s difficult to discuss China’s Olympic history without stumbling
over(结结巴巴地说) politics and propaganda. The swimmer Fu Yuanhui may
help change that.

Tidying Up!


By official count, there are twenty-eight sports, three hundred and six
events, and twenty-four hundred and eighty-eight available
medals(奖牌) at this year’s Rio Olympics. The more than eleven
thousand participating athletes represent two hundred and six countries,
which duke it out(打架,一决雌雄) over sixteen days in a
ritualized(仪式化的,程式化的) display of prowess(英勇,勇猛) that
is as pricey as it is purposeless. There’s pro-forma(预估的) talk of
sportsmanship(运动员精神) and international coöperation, but even the
opening ceremony’s Parade of Nations lays bare(暴露,公开) the
tribalism(部落文化,部落制度) in us all: what counts here is the flag
and the flash of gold. For the Chinese government, which in recent years
has made no secret of its desire to promote China’s supremacy on the
world’s most conspicuous(显著的,显而易见的) athletic stage, the
Olympics are closer to a gladiatorial([,glædɪə’torɪəl]角斗的)
contest(竞赛) than a sporting event. The task is to bring the
motherland glory, and glory comes exclusively(唯一的,专有的) in one


Ready。。。Steady。。。 Go!准备,各就各位,跑!

It’s difficult to discuss China’s Olympic tradition without stumbling
over politics and propaganda. When the first modern Games were launched,
in Athens, a hundred and twenty years ago, the
Chinese—enfeebled(衰弱的) on the inside by an impotent government and
threatened at their borders by Western powers—feared for the extinction
of their millennia-old empire. They didn’t begin participating in the
Olympics until 1932, under the flag of the Republic of
China(中华民国), and they won not a single gold. Shortly after the
Communist revolution, they went on a twenty-four-year
hiatus([haɪ’eɪtəs]裂隙,缝隙). In the meantime, in 1959, a
table-tennis player named Rong Guotuan became the country’s first world
champion in any sport. Mao Zedong praised the victory as a “spiritual
nuclear weapon,” perhaps signalling(发出信号) the privileged position
that sports would come to occupy. Zhang Boling, an early
advocate(倡导者,支持者) of the Olympics, proclaimed as early as 1909
that “a great nation must first strengthen the race; a great race must
first strengthen the body.” When China reëntered the Games, in 1984, its
athletes won fifteen gold medals. According to Zheng Wang, who authored
the book “Never Forget National Humiliation,” which devotes a chapter to
the politics of the Olympics, gold medals have since become the
“currency of the Communist Party’s
legitimacy([lɪ’dʒɪtɪməsɪ]合法,合理,正统)” and a concrete marker of
China’s position in the global hierarchy.


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China’s sudden gold-medal success was due in large part to the
establishment, in the nineteen-eighties, of state-run sports schools.
Scouts began plucking(采,把……从困境中拖出来) promising young athletes
from their homes and immersing(浸泡) them in intensive, isolationist
training. Eight- and nine-year-olds sacrificed a traditional education
for incubation( [ɪŋkjʊ’beɪʃ(ə)n]孵化,孵蛋) in a system in which the
odds(机会,可能性) of being chosen to participate in something as
high-stakes as the Olympics were—and remain—woefully(悲伤地,不幸地)
slim. In 2008, three thousand professional athletes trained full-time
for the Beijing Olympics; a fifth actually made it to the Games. And
even reaching the lower tiers of the podium(领奖台,乐队指挥台) is
hardly cause for celebration. The motto(座右铭) might as well be “Go
gold or go home.” First-place winners—like Liu Xiang, who became the
country’s first gold medallist in men’s track and field(田径比赛), at
the 2004 Athens Games—are anointed([ə’nɒɪnt]涂油,使神圣化) as
national heroes overnight, and can expect to bask in(沐浴在) fame and
fortune for the foreseeable future. Those who do not win gold are
regarded as disappointments. To make matters worse, most lack the skills
or resources to begin life as non-athletes.



With such pressure to succeed, it is not surprising that some Chinese
competitors take grave risks to win. Earlier this year, Wang Junxia, who
won gold and silver in distance running(长跑) at the 1996 Atlanta
Games, admitted to having been part of a Chinese state-sponsored
doping(使用兴奋剂) regime(政体). (The International Association of
Athletics Federations is currently investigating the claim.) Between
1990 and 1998, twenty-eight Chinese swimmers tested positive for
performance-enhancing drugs, causing the kind of public scandal that has
cast a dark and enduring(持久的) shadow on the team. Indeed, the
ongoing feud this year between the twenty-four-year-old Chinese swimmer
Sun Yang and his Australian rival, Mack Horton—in which Horton accused
Sun of being a “drug cheat” after Sun suffered a three-month ban, in
2014—plays on these persistent(持久的,坚持的) feelings of Chinese
humiliation and indignation(愤怒,分开), the sense that China is being
mocked as a nation for decades of deficiency.


the lead”;而“落后”可以说“at the back”。

But at the Rio Games a different narrative has also emerged. Although
the spotlight on Chinese athletes began with doping, it eventually
landed on Fu Yuanhui, a twenty-year-old swimmer with the facial
expressiveness and vibrant personality of a Pokémon. (The word
“adorkable” comes to mind.) On August 8th, Fu finished third in the
final of the women’s hundred-metre backstroke(仰泳), finding out from
a reporter after the race that she had won bronze. She doubled over in
joy. “Whoa, I was so fast!” she said. “I’m very, very satisfied with my
result!” Fu proceeded to tell the reporter that she’d used up all her
“mystical powers洪荒之力” to achieve the result. When asked whether she
had high hopes for her next race, the women’s four-by-one-hundred-metre
medley relay混合接力泳, Fu blithely( [‘blaiðli]快活地,无忧无虑地)
assured the reporter that she had “absolutely no expectations.” Now,
contrast this reaction with Sun’s tearful breakdown, two days earlier,
upon learning that he had placed second in the men’s four-hundred-metre
freestyle, after losing to Horton by thirteen hundredths of a second.
Some of Sun’s anguish must have been personal, since he had been
defending his gold-medal title from the 2012 Olympics, but some was on
behalf of his compatriots([kəm’pætrɪət;同胞). That 2012 gold was
China’s first in men’s swimming, and Sun lost it.



Fu was born in 1996 and grew up in the early aughts(anything), when
China had already made great strides(突飞猛进) in economic reform and
swung its doors open to the outside world. The same year that Fu swam in
her first Olympics, in London, Hu Jintao, who was then the general
secretary of the Communist Party, delivered a speech exhorting his
fellow-citizens to promote China’s “soft power”—power that would
presumably(大概,推测起来) include impressive medal hauls(金牌总数).
But Fu’s generation, bred on the same social-media outlets that now
unreservedly embrace her idiosyncrasies([,ɪdɪə(ʊ)’sɪŋkrəsɪ]个性),
has awarded the young star something better than a gold medal. “She
looks like she’s having so much fun!” a commentator from Beijing wrote,
having watched Fu on the state television broadcast. “When’s the last
time we saw that on CCTV from a Chinese athlete?” In the past, fun had
seemed like a selfish pursuit, the unpatriotic(不爱国的)
trivialization(平凡化,轻视) of a nation’s striving. But Fu’s
unexpected fame introduced new vocabulary into the conversation and
changed its tenor(要旨,大意): her mystical power overrode Hu’s
banal(陈腐。平庸) soft power. Last Sunday, after China placed fourth
in the team relay, Fu made headlines again. Grimacing(扮鬼脸) on the
pool deck, she attributed her personal performance to menstrual
cramps(经期痉挛). She was immediately hailed as a taboo-breaking
pioneer. As a Chinese blogger remarked, “The West has made a big fuss
about(大惊小怪) this feminist athlete’s stance(立场,姿势). But what
if she wasn’t trying to make a statement and was just saying what she
was feeling?”


Rabbit is in the lead。 兔子一路领先。

Had Fu hailed from another country, her emotional transparency might not
have received quite as much notice. But her capacity to speak
rather than recite the agenda of the motherland, is something new. Few
Chinese citizens today remember a China without an
top-down(自上而下的,组织管理严密的) leadership, just as few Chinese
athletes have ever experienced sport without entering its politically
pressurized industrial complex. In this sense, Fu is no exception. “I
started swimming to get healthier, because I was quite weak as a girl,”
she said during a live social-media broadcast at the Games. “I used to
quite like it, but now that it has become my career I can’t say if I
like it or not. It’s become part of my life.” Still, Fu’s
demeanor([di’mi:nə]风度,举止,行为) suggests that swimming, for
her, is not all about strengthening the race or the nation. Before the
Western media caught onto her idiosyncratic(特质的,特殊的) charm, a
Chinese friend messaged me to talk about the Fu phenomenon. “Her words
and attitude!” my friend wrote. “She is probably one of the first
Chinese athletes to take the Olympics Games as lightly as games!”


Peppa is right at the back。佩奇紧跟在后。


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Come on Peppa! 加油佩奇!


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另外同伴上场前,你也可以给他做一个交叉手指的动作cross your fingers,

旁白:Peppa and George are in their bedroom playing with their toys.

Good luck。 好运!

佩奇:George, let’s play dollies and dinosaurs.

I‘m crossing my fingers,hoping you can win the race。


皇家88平台 4

佩奇:What is that? It looks like a horrible monster!





Rabbit wins! 兔子赢了!

佩奇:Arrrgh! It’s a dinosaur! Help! Help!



Rabbitwonthegold medalin the race。 兔子在比赛中获得了金牌。


Thechampionof the raceisRabbit。 比赛的冠军是兔子。

佩奇:Help! Help!

皇家88平台 5


当然还有:银牌silver medal /亚军second place(也可以说first
runner-up),还有铜牌bronze medal /季军third place(或second

旁白:Daddy Pig is in the sitting room, reading his newspaper. Mummy Pig
is reading her book.




佩奇:Arrrgh! Help! Help!