China's diving great Wu Minxia reminds to "never give up on dream" in Nanjing
Olympic and world champion Wu Minxia of China is in Nanjing to meet and take part in YOG activities with diving hopefuls. We met the Athlete Role Model at the divers' training area within the Olympic Sports Complex Natatorium where she talked in the most genuine way about diving and future plans, in between two stretching sessions.
"To be named Athlete Role Model at these Youth Olympics is a confirmation of all the efforts for being in the sport for so long. It is to take on this responsibility to pass on the good spirit of sport to younger generations."
At 28, Shanghai-native Wu is the oldest member on the Chinese diving team. She was the first Chinese athlete to win three consecutive Olympic golds in the same event, the women's 3m synchro (Athens 2004, Beijing 2008 and London 2012) and is the most-decorated female diver in Olympic history with former 3m synchro partner Guo Jingjing.
"Like Guo Jingjing before me, I would like to pass my experience to young athletes," Wu continued.
A six-time World champion in the 3m synchro as well, Wu paired with 23-year-old Shi Tingmao to claim the 3m synchro world crown in Barcelona last year. Wu's only international meet in 2014 was the FINA Diving World Cup in Shanghai, where she swept the 3m synchro gold with Shi.
"I'm in good shape, the World Cup was the big goal this year," said Wu, who's dubbed the 'fragile girl' within the team because of her frequent injuries. Truth is, the woman has delicate features.
China's diving great Wu Minxia, Athlete Role Model in Nanjing - credit: Delphine Schmutz/FINA
"I hope I'm able to fight until the 2016 Rio Olympics," the smiley Chinese star added.
In 2015 at the FINA World Championships in Kazan, Wu is not sure yet which events she will be competing in but Wu's mind is clearly set on the dream to "continue to challenge myself in diving."
And for the diving hopefuls competing in Nanjing, Wu has but one message: "I hope that all can have their own dreams, work hard to achieve them and never give up."