Thankfully we have availed ourselves of the services of a second China correspondent, JW, who probably knows more about Chinese gymnastics than anyone else outside China and is enjoying taking time off from her job to translate Chinese articles for us. This is her first story, a translation of a very recent Sina article about Cheng Fei's wishes for the new year. One of those wishes is apparently to get a short haircut. We dearly hope someone will talk her out of that, as our eyes are still burning from some of the other heinous short haircuts we've seen over the years...
Anyhow, here's that Sina story!
Cheng Fei is ready to leap into the new year!
(Photo: Mark Dadswell/Getty Images)
Cheng Fei's many new year's wishes: Get a short haircut, go to the cinema, and visit an amusement park
"Would you believe it? I've been in Beijing for eight years now, and I've still never been to an amusement park. It's really pitiful!" Cheng Fei shook her head with a smile.
On the afternoon of January 8, members of the national gymnastics team took part in a photoshoot to celebrate the upcoming Chinese New Year. After the shoot ended, the athletes chatted with reporters about their wishes for the upcoming year. Women's team captain Cheng Fei was the first to share her hopes.
She told reporters that in her eight years on the national team, she's never been to an amusement park, even though the Beijing Amusement Park is just a 20-minute bus ride from the athletes' residence in the Tiantan dormitory.
"When I first joined the national team, I was very young and had no money. Going to an amusement park seemed like such a luxury. Before the 2006 World Championships, the team organized a trip to the Beijing Amusement Park. But that afternoon, I didn't do well in training, and Coach Lu [Shanzhen] gave me a good scolding. After that, I didn't feel like going anywhere!"
Cheng Fei said that she'd really like to visit the nearby Beijing Amusement Park to stroll around and have some fun. "But I guess this won't be an easy wish to fulfill. It's too cold to go in the wintertime, and in the summer, there are too many people. I imagine that when we got there, everyone would look at us. We Olympians would attract too much attention!" she said with a chuckle.
Apart from visiting an amusement park, Cheng Fei also longs to see a film in a movie theater. "As old as I am, aside from a first-grade trip to see Liu Hulan, I've never been inside a cinema." She watched Feng Xiaogang's If You Are the One [a very popular film from Hong Kong] on the Internet, but she'd love to see it on the big screen. In her view, this wish should be easier to fulfill than her desire to visit an amusement park. A theater would be dark, so movie-goers wouldn't be whipped into a frenzy by the presence of Olympians.
Cheng Fei's third wish is to cut her hair short. "I've had long hair for so many years. This year, I'd like to get a short haircut. That way, I could start my new year from the very 'head!'" This "head" of course hints at her desire to put her Olympic disappointments behind her and start from zero in a renewed quest for glory.
Cheng Fei's New Year's wish for her fans, which reads, "If you encounter fortunate events, accept them nonchalantly; if you encounter adverse events, take them calmly." (Photo: Sina)