November 8, 2008

The Morning After the Day Before

Usually, couples who have just had a big and lavish wedding like to spend the next few weeks in a nice and secluded spot, enjoying each other's company and avoiding the outside world. Unfortunately, that privilege wasn't granted to Yang Wei and Yang Yun. The morning after the Yangs threw the massive party we reported on yesterday, they found themselves needing to give a press conference to justify that party, which apparently came in for a lot of criticism on the Chinese Internet. How's that for a smooth beginning to married life?

The Yangs at their press conference (Photo: Sports.Sina)

Sina reports that at 10 AM on the morning after their wedding, a bleary-eyed Yang Wei and Yang Yun received the press in their hotel to defend themselves against accusations of extravagance and reckless money-spending. The night before, it had been reported on the Internet that the bride's golden dress cost $4.4 million, her hot air balloon ride cost nearly $15,000, and the couple's bridal chamber at the hotel cost $4,000 per night, which many Chinese people thought a bit profligate.

"We ourselves didn't see [the criticism]," said Yang Wei at the press conference. "We were told by friends. As for whether it was a profligate wedding, we'd rather not say anything on that score. There are things you simply can't explain. All I wish to say is that Yang Yun and I really enjoyed our wedding."

They certainly looked like they did.


For her part, Yang Yun added, "We don't want to clear anything up today. We just want to say that not everything that was reported on the Internet is true."

She also said she never intended the wedding to get as huge as it did. "All we really wanted to do was to let everyone be a witness to our love. We hope that people will understand that."

To which her husband added, "This wedding attracted a lot of attention because it was held so shortly after the Olympics. If I had been a retired athlete, I doubt it would have attracted this much attention. We never intended to get so many people's attention. Our guests are all people from the gymnastics world. We just wanted to give them a nice and relaxing day, but now we're not so relaxed anymore."

Huang Yubin

Elsewhere, Yang Wei's coach Huang Yubin confirmed that the wedding was just what the Chinese gymnastics world needed. He said he didn't think people realized just how hard the Chinese teams had worked in order to win the Olympic team titles for a home audience. So it was great of the Yangs to give the athletes a chance to let their hair down. "It's a very rare opportunity," said Huang. "We haven't been this relaxed in years. Yang Wei's wedding was exactly the right occasion [to let off some steam]. [Li] Dashuang and Xiaoshuang are here too. You could say it's a big get-together for our gymnastics team, with several generations represented."

Huang went on to say that he hoped Yang Wei would not retire after his marriage, and that he felt Yang still had a few good years left in him. When a reporter asked if Yang, at 28, wasn't past his prime, Huang reminded him of Oksana Chusovitina, and said that Yang was still in very good shape.

Chen Yibing

Sina also quoted Yang's teammate Chen Yibing, who said, "Their wedding was very grand, very lively. But when I get married, it will be more low key." Chen also had an original idea for a future honeymoon: to visit the places where he's taken part in major championships. He specifically mentioned Brazil and Denmark. "It's a different way of doing things, but I think it's a nice one."


  1. I think it's ridiculous that the Yang's had to defend themselves against the accusations. It was their big day, why wouldn't they want to throw a big party? They had a perfect right to, having waited for each other for eight years.

    I wish I could've attended the wedding. It looked sweet!