Family Kept Grandparents' Deaths Secret from Chinese Diver Until She Won Gold

Gabe Zaldivar@gabezalPop Culture Lead WriterAugust 1, 2012

Photo Credit: Yahoo Sports (Pictured Wu Minxia and Zi He)
Photo Credit: Yahoo Sports (Pictured Wu Minxia and Zi He)

As you sit back and watch Olympics coverage of athletes who sacrificed a great deal of their childhood to compete in these games, consider there are some athletes who have sacrificed far too much. 

Martin Rogers of Yahoo Sports reports Chinese diver Wu Minxia only learned of her grandparents' death and her mother's cancer diagnosis, things that had taken place years prior, only after she solidified her third gold medal of the London Games. 

Both facts were considered dispensable information and kept secret from the 26-year old diver, lending more criticism to a system of athletics that puts far too much emphasis on winning. 

Rogers furthers what is expected from Chinese athletes at Olympic Games and how they are groomed. 

In China, athletes are often taken away from their families at a young age and placed in specialist training schools where they practice for hours every day. Wu began training daily at a diving camp at the age of 6. By the time she was 16, she had left home to be installed in a government aquatic sports institute.

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Wu's father, Wu Yuming, is on board with the secret, and thought it a necessary evil to maintain her mental edge headed into the games, Yahoo Sports

It was essential to tell this white lie. We accepted a long time ago that she doesn't belong entirely to us. I don't even dare to think about things like enjoying family happiness.

This is merely one chapter in a giant tome that tells tales of Chinese domination that comes at a price. That price is paid by the athletes themselves who give more than merely sweat. 

They sacrifice a great deal of their lives, plucked without say and forced into competition at a young age. 

Simple things we take for granted, like being able to say goodbye to loved ones, is stripped from them for the sake of Olympic glory. 

It's just not worth it. 

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