Wei Xiaoyuan made her mark on the World Stage at the 2019 Junior World Championships where she not only helped the Chinese team pick up silver but also picked up a few individual medals for herself. After being a contender for a spot on China’s Olympic team, she was selected as an alternate. Wei finally made her senior international debut at the 2021 World Championships where she became uneven bars world champion. In a November interview with Guangming, she shared some of her upcoming plans.
1. How do you feel after your first big international competition? (2021 World Championships)
Wei: I was so happy, I’m thankful for the National team to give me this chance to compete. In the beginning I was really excited, in the competition I made some nervous mistakes, but after getting the gold medal I was very excited.
2. For your first Worlds becoming the champion is very difficult – especially being the first to compete on bars – before competing did you feel any pressure?
Wei: Actually I was not too nervous before the uneven bars final, after warming up my body felt like it was in really good shape. When I did the elements I felt really clear, also from my experience in the previous competition I knew how to adjust myself.
3. How did you figure out you wanted to practice gymnastics? What made you want to do it professionally and become a star for Guangxi gymnastics? Can you talk about how you got here?
Wei: During the Beijing 2008 Games I was only 4, my whole family was watching gymnastics in front of the TV where the Chinese team won gold; I was so excited and happy. My mom asked if I wanted to practice gymnastics and I said I wanted to. My mom then put me into gymnastics where originally I just wanted to exercise, but I didn’t think I would take this route. With all this experience I feel every time I take a step there is a challenge and something that is not easy. There is always a difficulty you face and some roughness. The most important thing is how you deal with yourself. Therefore I feel that the most important thing in practicing gymnastics is persistence, if you have never had this persistence then you will fail.
6. The new music for your floor routine is a song people from Guangxi are all familiar with, what made you want to change to this song?
Wei: I want to thank my coach for helping me cut the music and the choreographer for teaching the dance, the recognizability of this Guangxi folk song is very high, I also like it very much myself. The details of the choreography are all very meticulous, helping me improve and show off my artistry.
7. Everyone thinks your bow is really pretty, is that because you like it yourself? What hobbies do you have?
Wei: At the beginning my coach suggested the bow, once I did it I began to like it a lot. Also, I like to take care of my plants: some mint and succulents.
8. Next cycle do you plan to upgrade your routine, or keep the same one and be consistent?
Wei: Of course I want to upgrade the difficulty, I plan to upgrade and keep the quality clean.
9. At National Games you upped your floor difficulty and you became the national champion. Do you plan to have any more upgrades to other events? What are your future goals?
Wei: I want to continue with all around, but I want to focus on my stronger events – bars and beam – the future goal is for the Paris Olympics. I hope to see the red five-star flag ( Chinese flag) raised on the world stage.
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