January 8, 2009

Cheng Fei's Wishes for the New Year

Aside from our recent Sang Lan update, it's been a while since we posted any Chinese news. This is because our China correspondent, Meiying, is eight months pregnant and alternating between feeling too tired to do anything and trying desperately to get her house and life in order before the little one arrives. She has sworn she'll submit some stories soon, but we're not holding our breath. We agree that the nursery takes precedence right now. :)

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)


  1. hi, i believe the sixth character means nonchalant. meaning you should treay fortunate events nonchalantly.

  2. You're absolutely right. It's dan, isn't it? We'll change the word in our translation. Thanks!

  3. Cheng Fei, short hair? Noooooo! So it ain't so!

  4. That's how we feel about it, Anonymous. It's a bad idea and we desperately hope someone will talk her out of it.

  5. I remember watching the Glasgow Grand Prix and thinking that Cheng Fei would look adorable with Zhang Nan's hair a la Lobaznyuk post-Sydney.

    Here's a dreadfully-done photoshop for the fun of it.

    Hedgehog Cheng!

    Imagine her pre-vault frown with that hair :P

    By the way, thanks for all the great reporting. I've found the updates on the Chinese and Ukrainian teams very interesting.

  6. Lol i really couldnt imagine cheng fei with short hair..... until i saw ur photoshopped image...
    After seeing it i really hope her teammates stop her!

  7. Anonymous 1, that was priceless. Thanks a bunch. We've given your artwork a more prominent position on the blog. Hope you don't mind. Thanks for posting it here, and thanks too for the kind words!

    Anonymous 2, we completely agree. Someone please stop her STAT!

  8. yep it is dan.
    which in food can also mean the flavour or taste is bland.

    i should know, i'm chinese! lol =)