olympic champions’ stories often begin at an early age with golden dreams. nathan chen started his olympian trek at three years of age. living near the winter olympic site at salt lake city, utah, he developed his taste for medals at some of those facilities.
mr. chen’s story is the classic chinese family desiring their child to achieve. at the beginning, his mother struggled through her son’s costly skating lessons. his coach, seeing his talent, helped with reduced fees. he was a child that garnered support for his goal. one needs only to go on to youtube and find his early performances. it is a guilty pleasure seeing his greatness early on.
chinese social media, weibo, the chinese form of twitter, spewed out negative posts and comments towards mr. chen. there are accusations of him being a “traitor” for representing team usa and he was accused of being “too white.” breitbart.com
did the government choose to not censoring this vitriol? did they endorse it?
there were accusations concerning his unwillingness to speak in mandarin as he was not fluent in it. this is totally understandable due the language’s complexity. breitbart.com
fortunately for mr. chen, he did not have much contact with social media while competing.
there were accusations concerning his unwillingness to speak in mandarin as he was not fluent in it. this is totally understandable due to the language’s complexity. breitbart.com
is this chinese social media outrage reflective of the chinese people? is this merely a social media phenomena?
the chinese people embrace much of what mr. chen represents. he represents someone of high achievement. he represents an individual who comes from a family with strong values and dedication towards their children. he represents outstanding athletic achievement. he represents academic achievement as he is currently enrolled at yale university.
how many chinese parents would wish their child success liake mr. chen? would they want their child to attend yale? chinese people certainly can forgive his language issues with his work on the ice. there is certainly room for them to have some ethnic pride with his win.
there may, however, be some envy. mr. chen’s success will be further enjoyed in a free country where he can speak his mind and pursue more dreams. this perhaps may be a painful reminder of where they reside.
thus, perhaps chinese social media is not a reflection on the chinese people’s admiration of this great olympian.
to mr. chen, i offer a “gānbēi” or 干杯, which is cheers in mandarin. i would like to thank you for your wonderful performance in a most difficult olympic setting. i would like to congratulate you and your family for your success.
if you would like to read more blog posts, click here
if you find this post meaningful, please share
if you enjoy koolaid, please “follow”