27-year-old Li Jianrou captured China’s first gold medal in the Sochi Olympic Winter Games on Thursday when she finished first in the women’s 500 meters for short track speed skating.
The race was anything if not eventful, with every single skater crashing except for Li. The pileup was started by Britain’s Elise Christie in the opening lap, who accidentally turned into Arianna Fontana of Italy and sent both skaters sliding.
Li (or rather, her translator) was to-the-point in making a statement, saying “I feel very lucky.”
Later she mentioned how the medal is also for Wang Meng, the three-time defending champion whose broken ankle prevented her from competing in Sochi. Li’s win marks China’s fourth consecutive title in the event.
According to commentary by the Washington Post, “Li had little experience in the wild and wooly sprint, where getting off to a quick start is important. But she kept her cool while everyone else was falling around her.”
By Alex Stevens
[Screen-caps via Youtube]