5 Best Chinese Olympic Athletes in Rio This Year
China sent 416 athletes to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio this year, more than any other country. Here are the 5 best Chinese Olympic athletes you need to watch before the games end.
1. Lin Dan – Badminton
Lin Dan or “Super Dan” as many people call him, has been the reigning Olympic champion since the Bejing Games in 2008. There’s almost no doubt that he’ll make it to the Men’s Singles Finals again this year. But it’s fair to say that those who tune in to watch him on Day 6 of the Rio Games are in for much more than a simple match. As quoted from NBC Olympics’ own website, Lin Dan is “considered something of a bad boy within the badminton community, what with his prominent tattoos, devil-may-care attitude and quick temper.”
2. Sun Yang – Swimming
Despite missing the gold by a millisecond on Day 1 of the Rio Olympics (look up # 孙杨不哭 or #SunYangdontcry if you haven’t already), Sun Yang is still the best (and perhaps most handsome) Chinese swimmer to compete in the Olympics this year. In 2012, he became the first Chinese male swimmer to win an Olympic gold medal and on Day 3 of the Rio Games he continued that legacy. Sun won the 200m freestyle heat, a full second ahead of his nearest opponent.
3. Shang Chunsong – Gymnastics
Despite her small stature, this twenty-year-old gymnast is China’s two-time national all-around champion and has become an inspiration to gymnasts around the world. Having grown up extremely poor and malnourished in Henan province, Chunsong has long had issues with her overall health, including gaining weight. Nonetheless, she joined the Chinese national team in 2010 when she was only 14 years old. Catch her on Day 4 of the Games, for the Women’s Team All Around. Rio may be her first Olympics, but it certianly won’t be her last.
4. Wu Minxia – Diving
One word: perfection. From the start Wu Minxia has been breaking records. Not only is she the oldest woman to win in Olympic Diving, Wu has won the most medals of any diver ever in a single diving event. On top of that, after her stellar performance this past week, she’s officially won gold medals at the last 4 Olympic games: Athens in 2004, Beijing in 2008, London in 2012, and now this year in Rio.
5. Ma Long – Table Tennis
Considering table tennis may as well be China’s national sport, it’s no surprise Ma Long is ranked Number 1 in the world. Some even say he’s one of the best players in table tennis history. Ma Long made his Olympic debut in London in2012, where he won a gold medal in Men’s Team Table Tennis. But he’s been making history since he was young. At age 15, he joined the Chinese national team and at age 18, he became the youngest world champion. On Day 4 of the Rio Games, you can watch Ma Long inevitably make history again.