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Winter Olympic gold medalist Ren Ziwei shares his secret of success

Ren Ziwei of Team China celebrates after winning the men’s 1000-meter short track speed skating gold medal in the Winter Olympic Games at the Capital Indoor Stadium in Beijing, February 7, 2022. /CFP

Ren Ziwei of Team China celebrates after winning the men’s 1000-meter short track speed skating gold medal in the Winter Olympic Games at the Capital Indoor Stadium in Beijing, February 7, 2022. /CFP

Ren Ziwei, who won two short track speed skating gold medals for Team China at the Winter Olympic Games in China in February, shared his secret of success in an interview with Xinhua News Agency on Saturday.

Having just finished the Chinese national team’s training camp, Ren said he discovered some new practice methods that he had never tried before and it felt like a tonne of workouts he finished.

“I lost a lot of weight,” Ren said. “My goal at the training camp was to complete my workouts and make a bit of progress every day.”

That became both Ren’s belief and his secret of success. “I have never been slack at practice for even one day during the past four years,” he added. “I tried to stay in the good form and continued to make progress little by little until the 2022 Winter Olympics. Each and every day of these four years meant growth to me.”

Having won the 2,000-meter mixed relay and men’s 1,000-meter golds at the 2022 Winter Olympics, Ren became the first dual gold medalist of the Chinese national short track speed skating team at the Olympics. He and his teammates will begin the new Olympiad from late October for the 2026 Winter Olympics in Milano and Cortina in Italy.

Ren Ziwei of Team China competes in the men’s 1000-meter short track speed skating final in the Winter Olympic Games at the Capital Indoor Stadium in Beijing, February 7, 2022. /CFP

Ren Ziwei of Team China competes in the men’s 1000-meter short track speed skating final in the Winter Olympic Games at the Capital Indoor Stadium in Beijing, February 7, 2022. /CFP

Ren revealed that he had thought about retiring after the 2022 Winter Olympics, but when he was receiving the gold medal at the top of the podium, he changed his mind.

“I felt like I have countless reasons to give up, but I still want to make contributions to this event and my country. That’s the only reason for me to continue,” he told Xinhua.

According to Chen, the athletes’ performances at the 2022 Winter Olympics showed that the era of China and South Korea dominating the short track speed skating events was gone. The Netherlands, Canada, Hungary and many other teams have grown very competitive. “There may be five or 10 athletes hopeful of winning the gold in one event. Detail is the devil. Whoever does the best in details will have the best chance to win the title.”

Chen never considers the golds he won in 2022 as pressure. He expects him to go through ups and downs as he ages in the future. “If my performance slips, I will try to help the young athletes, or do whatever I can for the team,” he told Xinhua.

Ren is glad to see more youngsters join the national team. “They are full of vigor and vitality. I believe they will bring something different. The whole team is very cohesive. Let’s go for the new season,” he said.

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