A ruthlessly heckling Chinese figure skater who left the United States after the Olympic fall

Chinese social media users, who usually echo the Communist Party’s sentiments for fear of censorship, mercilessly heckled 19-year-old figure skater Zhu Yi – born in America but competing for China – after she fell on the ice on Sunday and finished in last place at the Beijing Winter Olympics.

The rowdiness was so intense that Chinese government censors say they intervened and shut down nearly 100 accounts on Weibo, China’s heavily-policed ​​alternative to Twitter, which is banned in the country.

Zhu was raised as “Beverly” by her Chinese immigrant parents in Los Angeles and renounced his US citizenship in 2018 to compete for China. She has been skating since the age of seven. Her father, Zhu Songchun, is a professor of computer science at the University of California, Los Angeles.

After winning the novice division of the US Figure Skating Championships in 2018, she was recruited by the Chinese communist government with a program called “Morning Road” which offered benefits to Chinese athletes from other countries if they joined the Chinese national team.

A similar path was chosen by skier Eileen Gu, another Californian teenager who won a World Cup medal competing for the United States in 2019 and happily crowned the Stars and Stripes at her awards ceremony – then appeared in Beijing standing proudly alongside dictator Xi Jinping and sporting a red communist uniform less than a week later.

Gu competes for China in the Genocide Games under the name “Gu Ailing”, although she insists she is still “proud of my American upbringing” and believes skiing for China will “foster common understanding, create communication, and forge friendships between nations.”

Gu did well in the Winter Olympics and became a national heroine and idol of the People’s Republic of China. After winning a gold medal on Tuesday, Weibo literally fondues under the torrent of praise from its users, who hailed it as a “genius” and celebrated both its beauty and its grace.

Zhu didn’t do as well in Beijing:

After slipping and falling on the ice on Sunday, taking the Chinese team from third to fifth place, Chinese social media erupted in derision for Zhu. A hashtag that translates to #ZhuYiHasFallen quickly became one of the trending topics on Weibo, racking up over 230 million views.

the South China Morning Post (SCMP) translated part of the heckling:

“Shame on Zhu Yi,” one netizen wrote on Weibo after her Sunday routine.

“Zhu Yi, how ridiculous your performance is!” said another user. “How dare you skate for China? You can’t even hold a candle to an amateur!

Another comment, with 11,000 upvotes, said “it’s such a shame”.

“I guess I felt a lot of pressure because I know everyone in China was quite surprised by the selection for the ladies’ singles and I really wanted to show them what I was capable of, but unfortunately I didn’t,” Zhu said in tears. said after his rocky performance.

It was a reference to Zhu being selected for the Chinese team against 18-year-old Chen Hongyi, a decision that many Chinese fans considered indefensible. australia ABC News noted some of the abuse thrown at Zhu on Weibo, also praised Chen, and claimed that she would have performed better. They also mocked Zhu, who was born in the United States, for not speaking Mandarin, unlike Gu, who is fluent.

“Please let her learn Chinese [sic] first, before she talks about patriotism,” a rowdy Weibo sneered.

The Chinese communist government claimed to have intervened after a few hours, unceremoniously atomizing huge Weibo hashtags dedicated to mocking Zhu and deleting hundreds of posts. The Chinese state enterprise world times counted 93 Weibo accounts suspended for “cyber-harassment” Zhu on Monday.

Weibo management published a notice on Sunday praising Chinese users’ enthusiasm for the Olympics but calling on them to “act in a civilized manner”.

Weibo promised to “strengthen the filtering of bad information related to the Olympics” and encouraged users to report “content that violates the rules”, according to the World times.




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