‘Manly woman?’ Chinese media faces backlash after interview with Tokyo Olympics gold-medalist

Gong Lijiao of China had claimed the gold medal in Women's Shot Put at Tokyo Olympics.

Gong Lijiao
Gong Lijiao

Gong Lijiao of China claimed the gold medal in Women’s Shot Put at Tokyo Olympics, as the 32-year-old became the first Chinese athlete to secure a gold medal in any field event. However, an interview with surfaced after her win went viral, and has attracted a lot of criticism from fans.

Following her victory in Women’s Shot Put, Gong Lijiao was interviewed by a Chinese state media, who asked her a few irrelevant questions, that are deemed to be too sexist or narrow-minded. This itself has led to a lot of backlash on social media, as netizens came in support of the Chinese athlete.

Gong Lijiao subject to sexist comments

Gong Lijiao of China was interviewed by a Chinese state media after her historic win in Women’s Shot Put. However, the journalist was quoted saying that Gong Lijiao appeared to her as a manly woman, until one breakout moment.

The interview as quoted by BBC goes as follows:

Gong: I may look like a manly woman on the outside, but inside I’m still more of a girl.

CCTV reporter: Do you have any plans for a woman’s life?

Gong: (surprised) Woman’s life?

Another female reporter: Since you used to be a manly woman for shot put, do you feel you can be yourself from now on?

Gong: Um… maybe I’ll look at my plans. If I don’t train then perhaps I will lose weight, get married and have children. Yes, it’s the path one must take in life.

Moreover, the CCTV journalist asked Gong Lijiao as to what kind of a man she prefers, and whether she would arm wrestler her boyfriend. The interview ended with Lijiao smiling and saying, “I don’t arm-wrestle. I’m very gentle.

This led to a huge outrage on Twitter and other social media sites, as people were not happy in regards to the manner in which the interview was held.

Also Read: Tokyo Olympics 2020: Haryana Chief Minister announces prize money for women’s hockey team players following their historic performance