Mom's Cancer, Family Deaths Kept From China Diver

News hidden from Wu Minxia to ensure success
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 2, 2012 10:36 AM CDT
Mom's Cancer, Family Deaths Kept From China Diver
Gold medalists Wu Minxia, left, and He Zi, right, wave during the winning ceremony for the 3 Meter Synchronized Springboard final during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Sunday, July 29, 2012.   (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

Wu Minxia won gold yet again for China in the women's synchronized 3m springboard at the London Olympics, making her the first diver to ever take gold at three consecutive Games—but the honor comes at a great cost. Wu's father tells the Shanghai Morning Post that he and his wife kept important family news from Wu—her mother's eight-year breast cancer battle, her grandmother's death—in order to ensure she remained focused on her sport.

"We never talk about family matters with our daughter," says Wu Jueming, calling such lies "essential" to his daughter's success. "We've known for years that our daughter doesn't belong to us any more." After the story was published, thousands took to China's microblogging site, Sina Weibo, to complain about the country's government-funded sports program and its relentless pursuit of dominance, AFP reports. "Apart from making people crazy, our Olympic strategy also makes people lose their humanity," writes one. (More Wu Minxia stories.)

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