Many times in gymnastics have we seen gymnasts, who, at one point, seemed to “have it all”, but never really make it far enough to chase for ultimate glory. But no matter what fate did to them, they bravely tackle whatever challenge thrown to them. In the 2017 Chinese Nationals, Huang Huidan did exactly that. And even if she failed to medal, and worse, failed to compete flawlessly, she dignifiedly fought hard not to fall in what is very likely to be her swan song.
The Moment of Courage: Huang Huidan Paused to Recollect Herself on the Bars
 (Photo captured from youtube, courtesy of CCTV)
The down-to-earth Huang was considered a successor Jiang Yuyuan in her provincial team. With her precise bar work and fairy-like demeanour on beam, she quickly became China’s new hopes since the team failed to medal in the 2012 London Olympics. In the 2013 World Championships, Huang became the first Chinese World Champion on bars since 2009. She went on to clinch silver in the same event in 2014. Yet injuries forced her out of top form since then.

Having regretfully missed two Olympics in a row, Huang still plays an important part in her provincial team. Recently, in the Chinese Nationals, despite not being at her best, Huang competed on bars and beam. It was on bars where she struggled after a full-pirouette (a skill which is known to be best-performed by Chinese gymnasts), paused for 10 seconds to recollect herself, and then bravely dismounted.

It is almost certain that Huang will retire this year. Whether or not she will compete in the National Games in September will depend on how well her more capable younger teammates recover from their respective injuries. Despite her current circumstances, with multiple medals in her bag and loving fans from across the world, World Champion Huang Huidan definitely has a fruitful career to be proud of.

For the time being, let’s take a moment to recap Huang Huidan’s brave performances in the 2017 Chinese Nationals.

Huang Huidan’s signature beautiful arm movements on beam:

Huang Huidan fought bravely not to fall on bars:

Written by Valerie Theodora Ko


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