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China Forced To Censor Social Media After Athlete Is Abused For Falling Over

Max Sherry

Published 
| Last updated 

China Forced To Censor Social Media After Athlete Is Abused For Falling Over

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

China has been forced to censor social media after a Chinese athlete copped backlash online for finishing last in her event.

19-year-old figure skater Beverly Zhu, who was born and raised in the United States but now competes for China, took a nasty fall during her routine at the Beijing Winter Olympic Games.

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

Zhu, who now goes by the name Zhu Yi after her defection, came agonisingly close to crashing into the wall when she failed to land a tricky jump.

It was a day to forget for the teenager, who struggled to fight back the tears after hershaky performance.

Zhu finished with the lowest individual score and finishes last in the women's singles short program in the team event, but China still advanced to the next round of the event thanks to the scores of the other Chinese competitors.

But unfortunately it didn't take long for Zhu to find herself on the receiving end of a barrage of abuse.

Shortly after the event had wrapped up, fuming fans flocked to China's equivalent of Twitter 'Weibo' where the hashtags #ZhuYiFellOver and #ZhuYiMessedUp began instantly trending with millions of views.

But Chinese officials acted quickly as later searches for #ZhuYiFellOver on Weibo showed no results, reports suggesting it had been censored.

That didn't stop other social media users from taking aim at her though.

One person posted: "Chen Hongyi is far better than her. I don't know why someone like this was allowed to represent China."

While another added: "Sure, there's lots of pressure - but show me an athlete who doesn't go out there under pressure from their country and people?"

That said, there were a number of people to leapt to Zhu's defence while also condemning those who criticised her.

Zhu also came out and issued a statement of her own.

"I guess because I missed the first jump I was just kind of frazzled and felt a lot of pressure on landing that last jump, and unfortunately I popped it," she said.

"I'm upset and a little embarrassed. I guess I felt a lot of pressure because I know everybody in China was pretty surprised with the selection for ladies' singles and I just really wanted to show them what I was able to do but unfortunately I didn't."

Topics: Social Media, Australia, Winter Olympics, China

Max Sherry
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