After winning a record-tying five Olympic gold medals, China’s most-decorated Olympian, Wu Minxia, announced her retirement from diving on Thursday.
“I am really sorry, but my body will not allow me to continue training,” the 31-year-old Olympic diver said breaking down into tears during a CCTV live-stream of a sports award ceremony. “I really feared that this day was coming.”
Wu started to practice diving when she was six years old. At 13, she joined the Chinese national team and at 19 she competed at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, winning her first gold medal.
She would go on to compete at each of the Summer Olympics since then, taking home at least one gold each time. At the 2016 Rio Games, she won the women’s synchronized three-meter springboard along with her partner Shi Tingmao, giving her a record-tying 5th gold medal. The gold medal also gave her seven medals overall. More than any other diver or any other Chinese athlete in Olympic history.
Generally known for her calm and poise, even Wu got caught up in all the excitement over her historic gold, declaring: “I think I’m great.”
Directly afterward, Wu didn’t confirm her retirement. When asked if she was going to call it quits, Wu responded, “I will relax a little bit. I also want to study something that I am really interested in after finishing my athletics career.”
Happy studies, Wu!
[Images via Xinhua]
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