- What do Hubei athletes do after retirement?
With the 31st Summer Olympics drawing to a close in Rio, many Chinese athletes have come back loaded with honor and glory after finishing their competitions.
Thousands of fans have been spotted in various airports welcoming home their idols.
While some veteran athletes have announced their retirement following the Olympics, some may wonder what these athletes will do now.
Possible options include:
Become a coach
A number of athletes may be reluctant to leave their beloved sport; for those, becoming a coach is a good choice.
Zhou Jihong, born January 11, 1965 in Wuhan, is one of the best examples.
At the age of 19, Zhou became champion of 10 m diving during the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. She is the first Chinese Olympic diving champion.
After retirement, Zhou became the head coach of Chinese diving team, which won 7 of 8 gold medals at Rio Olympic Games.
Start a business
Many Chinese athletes have become entrepreneurs after retirement, including Li Xiaoshuang, former gymnast born in Xiantao of Hubei Province.
Li Xiaoshuang, born born November 1, 1973 in Xiantao, is a former Chinese gymnast known for his triple backward somersault. He holds two Olympic gold medals: one for floor exercises at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992 and one for all-around at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996.
His company was founded in 1998 and is now a very famous one dealing with sporting goods in China.
Another similar case is Xiao Hailiang, who won a gold medal in 3m Springboard Synchronized event at the 2000 Summer Olympics. Xiao is now the owner of Wuhan branch of Aussino Wines.
Become a government official
Media reports say among all the 222 Chinese Olympic champions from 1984 to 2012, 60 percent became government officials after retirement.
Yang Wei, for example, is a former Chinese gymnast won several gold medals at Olympic Games. He is now an official in Hubei Sports Bureau.
Gao Ling, former badminton player, has worked for the office of the Beijing Public Security after retirement.
Go to college
Some athletes choose to go to college as a teacher or to persue further education after retirement.
Cheng Fei, a big name in Olympic gymnastics, became a professor in Wuhan Sports University in 2013. At the Beijing Olympics, Cheng won a gold medal in the team competition and two bronze medals in the events of vault and beam.
Chen Jing, the first Olympic champion of China table tennis, get her doctor’s degree of psychology in South China Normal University after retirement and is now a professor in the university.
Be a son/daughter, husband/wife, father/mother, friend …
Aside from all the different career possibilities, maybe the most neglected role for a retired athlete is a family member.
Athletes have all undergone years of hard training. Some might have left home to move to a provincial training center at a very young age.
No matter how many medals they won or how many great achievements they made, in many people's eyes, they are still the adorable sons and daughters, husbands and wives, fathers and mothers, as well as friends.
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