Life is often a matter of waiting for the right moment to act.
For champion swimmer Sun Yang, the first Chinese man to win an Olympic gold medal in swimming, that moment came last month, when he finally won the men’s 200-meter freestyle event at the Asian Games.
Aug 19 saw the three-time Olympic champion’s patience and persistence pay off, as he claimed victory in the event at the 18th Asian Games in Indonesia. This means that Sun has accomplished a Golden Grand Slam, having won the 200, 400, and 1,500-meter freestyle events at the Asian Games, World Championships and Olympic Games.
“From Guangzhou 2010 until now, I have been waiting for this gold medal in the 200-meter freestyle at the Asian Games,” the 26-year-old swimmer told Xinhua News Agency. “Not many swimmers could have waited for eight years over three Asian Games like me. My dream has finally come true.”
While Sun stood on a podium listening to the Chinese national anthem along with the silver and bronze medal winners, a technical malfunction caused the medalists’ flags to drop to the ground. Sun hopped off the podium, walked over to the officials and demanded that they raise the flags again. In the end, the officials held the flags up themselves as China’s national anthem played a second time.
Many Chinese internet users called Sun’s response to the incident an act of patriotism. “It is great to win the championship, but seeing our national flag go up again is also very important,” Chinese news portal Eastday noted. “Winning the title is an achievement that will be remembered, but raising the flag again is a matter of importance.”
(Translator & Editor: Wang Xingwei AND Luo Sitian)