China's Olympic Champion Zhang Hong Expects to Do More for Athletes

February 19, 2018  Editor: Yang Peng

Former Olympic speed skating champion Zhang Hong of China expects to do more for athletes from around the world as she has been named one of the six candidates to run for the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Athletes' Commission elections.

The elections is on-going during the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 and the result will be announced Thursday.

"So far, there is no speed skating athlete in the commission. I hope many speed skating athletes can support me. If I'm elected, I will spare no effort to do what I should do between athletes and IOC," Zhang said after finishing 15th in women's 500m at the Gangneung Oval on Sunday.

China's short track skater Yang Yang was elected as the member of the IOC Athletes' Commission in 2010. "Yang is my idol and predecessor. I will always learn from her," said Zhang, who is learning English and will go abroad to learn English if she is elected.

Zhang delivered China's first-ever gold in the sport at Sochi 2014. Her preparations for PyeongChang 2018, by contrast, have been plagued by a long struggle to overcome the pain she has sustained in her knees.

The 29-year-old skater eventually ranked 11th and 15th in women's 1000m and 500m respectively. However she got to know the Olympic spirit better in her second Olympics.

"Whatever the result is, as long as I stand on the ice of Olympics, I can say that I overcome myself," said Zhang.

In the run for the elections, Zhang paid more attention to communicating with athletes. "I believe the experience will help me a lot if I get elected as a member of the Athletes' Commission."

All athletes participating in PyeongChang 2018 are eligible to vote for their preferred candidates. After approval by the IOC Session, the two elected Olympians will become members of the Athletes' Commission for an eight-year term.

(Source: China Daily)

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