Recapping a year of success, the Chinese National Team hosted their annual victory ceremony for new World and Olympic Champions. The Wall of Champions lines the halls of the training gym in Beijing, featuring a photograph of every World and Olympic champion in Chinese gymnastics history, honoring the success of the athletes while also being a marker of their legacy.
The Wall of Champions continued to grow as Zou Jingyuan, Liu Yang, Zhang Boheng, Lan Xingyu, and Hu Xuwei were honored at the ceremony.
Liu Yang, the reigning Olympic champion on rings, was already featured on the wall for his two world titles at the 2014 World Championships, however his photograph was adorned with the Olympic rings for winning his first Olympic gold medal.
“After 7 years, I’m standing at this ceremony again, fulfilling what I said I wanted to do 7 years ago. I added the 5 rings (Olympic rings) to my picture, I am so happy to see all the young people on the wall of champions,” Liu said.
“Being on the wall of champions and adding the 5 rings to my picture is an honor of an athlete’s life. We should be proud that we can wear the national flag and win honor for the motherland. There are still three more years until the Paris Olympic games, I hope to continue winning for the honor of the motherland and add luster for the motherland.”
Similar to Liu, Zou Jingyuan is already featured on the wall for his world championship titles. The Olympic rings were added to his picture following his parallel bars victory at the Tokyo Olympics.
“Today is my second time participating in the victory ceremony. When I first joined the national team in 2013, I watched the ceremony, I felt amazed by it, and it’s where I decided to train really hard in order for me to take part in the ceremony and add the 5 rings to my name.”
“When I finally got to my Champions ceremony I was so excited and felt very moved – a feeling I can’t put into words. I hope in the next stage I will continue my fight to Paris, Los Angeles, and even Brisbane. Maybe I won’t be a contender at that time, but I hope to stick to it, control my injuries, work together, condense strengths, get the team award we still have not gotten, work together for this success,” Zou said. “The road ahead is long, but we will get there.”
For the newcomers like Lan Xingyu, Zhang Boheng, and Hu Xuwei, this was their first time being honored at the ceremony.
Winning rings at 2021 Worlds gave Lan greater confidence moving forwards, “it’s an honor to push myself for my country. A gold medal is an encouragement and a new starting point for me. I hope to continue working hard in the future, working hard through struggles, building myself. The harder I work the luckier I will be.”
Zhang Boheng, one of the breakout stars at the 2021 World Championships, intends to use his newfound experience at the 2021 World Championships heading towards the Paris Olympics:
“To realize my dreams is a very glorious thing. I’m very honored to become an athlete on the NT, down the road, I also want to make sure not to let anybody down and show the strength of Chinese gymnastics on the world stage. I am looking forward to the Paris Olympics, with the hopes of raising the national flag and hearing the national anthem,” Zhang said.
Hu Xuwei, now a two-time World Champion, also mentioned his ambitions looking forward:
“My dreams of attending this ceremony – with blood, sweat, and tears, everything is worth it for this moment. The new Olympic cycle is here, I want to adapt to the new code as soon as possible to build my difficulty, become familiar with my new routines, and strive for the next goal. My dream is to stand on the medal podium at the Paris Olympics, sing the national anthem, see the national flag raised, hold flowers, and shed tears. I hope to be back for the ceremony, and change my picture to add the 5 rings. I hope everybody can achieve their dreams.”