First, interviewers asked to see Huang’s hand, and said that she’s the only one who doesn’t use grips. They wanted to see if it felt different.
Huang said that she’s used to it and that it’s the most comfortable for her.
When mentioned that she started crying after her routine, she explained that she was moved and it was adrenaline when the tears first came down. However, when she moved from first to second, she was sad because she felt “不甘心” — it’s a tricky thing to translate. In short, it’s that feeling when you tried your best and did really well but fell just a little short and you can’t reconcile with it.
Yao was next, and when asked, she said she wasn’t “comfortable” with her win. She said, “Dandan performed better than me, so when I saw her cry…I don’t know.” But she continued on to say that there are a lot of mixed feelings because “for the past few years, I kept having issues with my training,” hinting at her multiple injuries and why this was a special win for her.
Coach Wang was also interviewed.
“This time, the athletes in my training group got gold and silver. I feel like I’ve watched these girls grow up, and after the competition, I was extremely emotional. I cried too,” coach Wang said. After Yao saw her score, she dropped her bag and ran towards Wang Qunce and Xu Jinglei.
“She’s had such a hard path to where she is right now. The reason why we didn’t let her go on floor during team finals was because her feet were bugging her, so much that it hurts every time she jumps. She’d grit her teeth, and I’d grit my teeth too.”
Coach Wang continued to talk about their preparations before the competition, revealing that “she wanted so badly to be on the wall of champions. During the training before the competition, suddenly she forgot how to do everything. We understand the pressure and after the coaches talked her down, she returned to her normal self. I am extremely happy that she was able to overcome her own nerves.”
“I call her the ‘belated champion’, because from 2011 until now, we’ve waited for her time on that podium. During the London Olympics, she had to take seven, eight shots of corticosteroid injection in just one leg. The pain therapy probably long faded by the time she was done with warm ups.”
Injuries always plagued Yao’s road to gold. Wang Qunce counted them down: “ankle, arch of the foot, knee, shoulder, wrist…they’ve all been hurting.”
Now that Yao has become the World Champion, Wang Qunce could say that one of his dreams has been realized. When asked what his wishes are for the rest of his coaching career, he said “I still have to train one or two new athletes, to pass the torch down to them. I am confident in their abilities.”
He added that “we’ve never had an all-around champion in World Championships or the Olympic Games, and my coaching career goal is to make a breakthrough there.”
And finally, what about Yao’s missing number during the bar final?
After the Uneven Bars competition, panic and unrest suddenly swept through the online Chinese gymnastics communities—the number missing from Yao’s back could incur a 0.3 deduction and separate her from the gold medal.
When asked why she wasn’t wearing it, Yao said that it “fell off.” Coach Wang explained further: “before she went up, the number fell off, and there wasn’t enough time to sew it back on her leotard. Coach Xu had to hold it on the side to show the judges.”
“The judges all saw it, so there was no deduction for it. Maybe the video camera didn’t capture how it went down, so the misunderstanding for the audience occurred.”
Article/Translation by 16-233