US-Born Figure Skater Renounced Citizenship and Defected to China, But One Mistake Turned Her Into Chinese Public Enemy #1
U.S-born Chinese figure skater Zhu Yi, who four years ago kicked America to the curb, was reviled in China Feb. 6 after a disastrous performance at the Winter Olympics held in Beijing.
Zhu ended up with the lowest score of the day in the women’s short program team event after her routine suffered two botched jumps and a fall.
The former Beverly Zhu, 19, was the subject of ridicule on Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter, according to the South China Morning Post.
“Shame on Zhu Yi,” one comment read.
“Zhu Yi, how ridiculous your performance is!” another user said. “How dare you skate for China? You cannot even hold a candle to an amateur!”
“This is such a disgrace,” another said.
“Many questioned why Zhu, an American-born skater, was picked to represent China at the expense of an athlete born in the country.”
Fair weather friends…
Soon #WhereIsZhuYi??? https://t.co/9CN2ZXUWZT
— Chris Fenton (@TheDragonFeeder) February 6, 2022
Humans can be so cruel. There are 2 rules in life—one is TREAT OTHERS AS YOU WISH TO BE TREATED.#ZhuYi doesn’t deserve the bullying she’s receiving for something as senseless as a fall. She is & will always be Chinese, regardless of where she was born.https://t.co/DIqIo8c2XM
— Neda (@ManuscriptOfAty) February 6, 2022
Although the hashtag “Zhu Yi has fallen” soared in popularity, it was soon censored and disappeared.
Zhu was born in Los Angeles, and in 2018, she renounced her U.S. citizenship and her American name to compete for China.
Her showing was a factor in China falling to fifth in the team standings.
“I’m upset and a little embarrassed,” Zhu said after her routine.
“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,” she said.
Zhu’s selection raised some eyebrows because she is still unable to speak fluent Chinese.
Her father, Zhu Songchun, is an artificial intelligence scientist who was recruited away from UCLA in 2020 to join Peking University
Chinese figure skater Jin Boyang offered a positive word, according to the Daily Mail.
“Zhu is a hard-working girl and should not be blamed for her first performance on the Olympic stage, whether it’s good or bad,” he said.
“I fully understand her position. I was there, too. She’s under huge pressure as China’s last performer in the team event short program and the sole skater in women’s figure skating, especially after her selection over the two other girls,” he said.
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