Diving queen Guo Jingjing (郭晶晶) has been slammed left right and centre for her less than stellar behaviour at a press conference after taking home the silver for the women’s 3m springboard final at the “Good Luck Beijing” FINA Diving World Cup where she was edged out by team mate Wu Minxia (吴敏霞).
Guo was described by the media as highly “inattentive” at the press conference attended by over 100 local and foreign journalists, looking down for most of the time, fiddling around with her fingers and working on her little bracelet. She gave short, curt answers to the questions that were posed to her, and is said to have flared up when asked about her lacklustre performance (this is after all a two-time Olympic champion). When asked who would be her strongest competitors at the Olympics, this was her response:
Russia’s (Julia) Pakhalina and that fatty from Canada (referring to Blythe Hartley).
For her “fatty” remark and rude behaviour, national coach Zhou Xuhong (周继红) came to her rescue:
Guo Jingjing is just a child, and she can’t perfectly express herself in many ways. She is also feeling bad because she didn’t perform too well. There may be many thoughts within the heart of an athlete. Sometimes they would feel like talking and sometimes they would feel like holding things to themselves, so they can’t be expected to talk with an open heart all the time.
The coach’s comments failed to appease the media, some of whom are now criticising him, saying that it was him that spoilt her and that more would be expected from a 28 year old member of the national team. This would not be Guo’s first brush with the media. In 2005 at a Chonqging meet, Guo rubbed up a journalist the wrong way when she told him off with a “I don’t need to answer your question” and a “Do you have any understanding of diving?”.
Reuters: Diving queen Guo slammed for snubbing China press
Reuters: Prima donna or diver under pressure?
The Times: Diving princess Guo Jingjing enters love’s troubled waters
Southern Metropolis Daily: 郭晶晶引来口诛笔伐
EastDay: “跳水皇后”耍大牌? 周继红:郭晶晶还只是个孩子
Yangcheng Evening Post: 谁宠坏了郭晶晶？