American-born Chinese figure skater Zhu Yi (formerly Beverly Zhu) was absolutely savaged on Chinese social media after falling twice during the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. Zhu is an ethnic Chinese person and also a citizen of China. The CCP does not allow Chinese citizens to possess dual citizenship. Back in 2018, Zhu had a choice to make. Either she could compete with the US in the Olympics or switch to China and compete there. Zhu chose the latter, therefore renouncing her US citizenship. Beverly Zhu essentially defected from the United States to become Zhu Yi in China. To answer the question of how well that’s going for her… not too well at the moment.
It was a pretty sad sight to see Zhu Yi crash twice on the ice while attempting to do her figure skating routine. She burst into tears that were probably a mixture of physical pain and emotional distress. The pressure of representing China during the Olympics in her adopted hometown of Beijing must be tremendous. China was apparently in a position to get the Bronze medal, but Zhu’s two falls knocked them all the way back to 5th place which means they did not receive a medal for that event at all.
China is a much different place than the United States or anywhere else in the West. US Olympian Simone Biles literally quit during the Olympics, initially citing mental distress. Mainstream media and politicians praised her for putting her mental health first. If a Chinese Olympian quit during the games, the reaction would be totally different. Zhu Yi did not quit. As a matter of fact, she attempted to overcome adversity by falling more than once. The Chinese don’t really care about effort as much as they do results.
Zhu Yi’s performance was labeled as “disgusting” and “an embarrassment” just to name a couple. The phrase “Zhu Yi has fallen” emerged on the social media app “Weibo” which is essentially the Chinese equivalent to Twitter. Thousands of negative comments against Zhu poured in after her less-than-stellar performance. It got so bad that the app had to delete nearly a hundred profiles and censor some of the hashtags.
Chinese fans did not like the selection of Zhu Yi to represent them during the figure skating event for a variety of reasons. First of all, she is seen as an American with Chinese parents living in China. She does not speak Mandarin (or any other Chinese dialect) fluently. She was born and raised in California then came to China in her mid to late teen years only for the Olympics. Her father is a famous artificial intelligence scientist and a professor at the University of Peking in Beijing. Commenters said her last name is what got her through the door instead of talent.
Maybe Zhu Yi is taking a look at how all of this is playing out and wishes she could “un-renounce” her US citizenship. China may not be the best place to be.
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