US-born Chinese Olympic figure skater slated in China.

Published on Tuesday 8th February 2022 at 1620 EAT.

19-year old zhu yi sobbed openly after her error -riddled skate on Monday.

Her debut on Sunday saw her fail to land jumps, pushing Team China out of the medals.

A second performance on Monday, where she fell twice, earned more criticism.

Her performance was called shameful and embarrassing by some, with personal attacks made on her background and her poor grasp of Mandarin.

The criticism also appeared to be linked to discontent that the US-born and raised skater was allegedly chosen for the team event over Chinese-born skaters.

Many questioned why the 19-year-old had been chosen and made groundless claims that Ms Zhu had been favoured because her father is a prominent scientist.

Zhu, who gave up her US citizenship to join Team China in 2018, had appeared visibly tense on the ice even before she fell on an early jump, crashing into the wall. After her performance on Sunday, she said she felt upset and embarrassed.

“I guess I felt a lot of pressure because I know everybody in China was pretty surprised with the selection for ladies’ singles, and I just really wanted to show them what I was able to do, but unfortunately I didn’t.”

On Monday the criticism erupted again after Zhu, looking for redemption, fell on consecutive jumps and struggled through the rest of the routine.

Holding back tears on the ice, she sobbed openly after finishing.

Zhu Yi fell twice on turns in her second skate for the team competition

While her teammates on the sidelines welcomed her back warmly, online the reception was largely negative.

“She has no strength and it seems like she has no passion and enthusiasm on the stage,” one social media user wrote.

Others ridiculed her distress. “I hate that she’s crying. Can crying solve anything?” one wrote.

But many have also condemned the backlash, defending and expressing sympathy for the young athlete.

“To vent emotions on this young athlete, using social media to throw rocks down a well when she makes mistakes – that’s cyber-bullying and no matter what it’s going too far,” said Hu Zijin, a well known former editor-in-chief of the nationalist Global Times newspaper. His post was widely shared.

Team china athletes often face great security from the Chinese public and immense pressure to win medals for national glory. Zhu was one of about a dozen athletes recruited by China for its Winter Games medal campaign.

Still, others have drawn comparisons between the treatment of Zhu to Eileen Gu, another American-born athlete who chose to compete for China – and won a dramatic gold in the women’s freestyle skiing big air final on Tuesday.

Gu is widely adored in China and even given the nickname of China’s “Snow Princess”. She has been praised for not only her athletic ability but also her Mandarin skills and embrace of Chinese culture.


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