Netizens show support for Olympic shooting athlete following cyberbullying
Published: Jul 25, 2021 07:13 PM
Chinese athlete Wang Luyao Photo: VCG

Chinese athlete Wang Luyao Photo: VCG

Wang Luyao, a 23-year-old Chinese sports shooter experienced double disappointment at the Tokyo Games not just because she failed to qualify for the final competition in the Women's 10-meter Air Rifle on Saturday, but due to the cyberbullying she was subjected to after posting an apology for her loss on China's Twitter-like Sina Weibo. 

"Sorry everyone, I do feel regret and admit that I'm not quite there yet, see you all in three years," Wang posted on Sina Weibo after her loss on Saturday along with a selfie of herself. 

However, instead of invoking compassion, the athlete's after-match reflection quickly drew in haters, especially those who took umbrage with her selfie. 

 "Three years? Will there still be a seat for you on the China team?" commented one netizen on Sina Weibo. 

"I'm truly speechless. It is not that selfies are not allowed, but just not right now. I feel she isn't showing the spirit of sports," said another. 

Some others turned Wang's own words that she was "not quite there yet" against her, comparing her to her teammate Yang Qian, who had won China its first gold medal at the Tokyo Olympic Games. 

Such attacks led to Wang deleting her post and suffering those hostile voices in silence. 

The cyberbullying went viral on online with the hashtag "Wang Luyao is still Zhejiang's good girl" earning nearly half a billion views as netizens rushed to back the young woman up.  

"I think those who blame athletes because of their failure are sick people who lived in the last century. It is more than an issue of lacking compassion, they are dangerous people venting their emotions and trying to evoke public hate," Jackie Yang, a blogger who has dealt with his own fair share of cyberbullying, told the Global Times. 

By supporting Wang, many netizens showed that athletes deserve respect no matter whether they win or lose. Even if they fail, they should be encouraged and shown love. 

"Some people behave like this to try to show how much they love China and wish we were better, but this is so wrong. We had such tragedies happen before with Liu Xiang, who was outrageously insulted by online tolls. Never let it happen again, I mean never," Li Li, a sports fan, told the Global Times. 

On Sunday, Sina Weibo's official administrator announced that the platform had banned 33 accounts that attacked the athlete for 90 to 180 days, and 35 posts insulting Wang have been removed. 

On Sunday night, Wang spoke out for the first time after being cyberbullied through a post on Sina Weibo. In her post, she congratulated her fellow athletes who won medals and explained why she posted the selfie. 

"I posted the selfie because I wanted to straighten out the state of my mind. Starting from scratch, I will not be defeated and keep my head down, so I will come back again in Paris, from a new start, from the beginning, " posted Wang.