Young Chinese swimming star Ye Shiwen set a new world record in the women's 400m individual medley, scooping a gold medal in the London Games. Her achievement, however, was met with suspicion and derision from Western commentators.
During one interview, a reporter directly confronted her with a comment that Chinese athletes are robots trained to win medals. Challenging a young girl with unfriendly language is not something a journalist should be proud of. It is also unfair to Ye.
The doubts over Ye's breathtaking speed are understandable. Chinese swimmers have been tainted with doping scandals in the past, but Ye passed the doping tests conducted by the World Anti-Doping Agency. British Olympic Association Chairman Lord Moynihan Tuesday called for an end to the speculation and for the doubters to recognize Ye's talent.
Negative comments about her and Chinese athletes come from deep bias and reluctance from the Western press to see Chinese people making breakthroughs.
If Ye were an American, the tone would be different in Western media. Michael Phelps won eight gold medals in the 2008 Games. Nobody seems to question the authenticity of his results, most probably because he is American.
Sports talents emerge in every Olympic Games, but few have experienced the same thing as Ye. The abnormal media reaction should be questioned more than Ye's new record. It shows that the unfriendliness of the West to China is spreading.
It targets China's system and is demonizing more Chinese talented people. The West still judges China with an old mentality, and is petty about the progress China makes. If Ye was found to be doping, she would be severely criticized by Chinese media, not to mention foreign press.
China is no longer a society that devotes everything to national honor. The sports sector has already come under powerful domestic scrutiny. Being Chinese, especially those striving to set world records in various fields, one has to be prepared to face questions from the West.
China's fast growth is the combination of every individual's progress. The country's growing power in turn supports Chinese people's further exploration in every field.
Ye might not be the last Chinese person to have this experience. When China starts competing with the West, more incidents of a similar nature will happen.
But it is not a big deal. Doubts will go away eventually.
Learning Chinese: Chinese Wire EP11 --奥运冠军的清白