Athletes: what would they be without a little wanton drunkenness every now and then? Reports have emerged that members of China’s speed-skating team had an altercation with local police Monday night on the streets of Lijiang in Yunnan province.
The instigators of the confrontation have yet to be determined, with both sides accusing each other of starting the fight. Attending a team training session in the tourist haven of Lijiang, the speed-skaters apparently were guilty of ‘being rowdy’ after midnight, with residents complaining about the noise and police then called in to control the situation.
Shanghai Daily reports that the brawl apparently began in earnest when an officer kicked a male speed-skater in the leg, with the fighting lasting for 20 minutes before the athletes were offered trips to the hospital by the police.
However, there were only more problems at the hospital, with the athletes claiming that the 10 members of their team who needed treatment weren’t immediately seen to at Lijiang People’s Hospital. A spokesman from the hospital also refused a team member’s demand for their own room, who felt it justified since they were a world champion in their sport. The hospital also denied that they “did nothing” to treat the injuries of the skating team, claiming the athletes and coaches left on their own after receiving checkups.
Four-time Olympic Gold Medalist Wang Meng (王蒙) spoke up on her QQ weibo about the poor treatment, weibbing at 3:59am on Tuesday that ‘The doctor just leaves patients alone, the police treat the public this way…but to tell the truth, they’re all just part-time workers, what should really be criticized? The system.’
Though the situation with the police in Lijiang is unfortunate, at least no one was caught urinating in the parking lot of a karaoke hall. In 2008, the Olympic Gold-medal winning table tennis champion Wang Hao (王皓) responded to an attendant asking him to refrain from public urination by kicking the attendant in the leg and then declaring, ‘I’m the world champion, I can hit you if I want.’