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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.
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.
China censorship doing everything they can to prevent us from watching the video of Zhu Yi falling. They've perfected censorship. Can't find it on YouTube Reddit Instagram TikTok Facebook. Anyone have it?
- Adam Francisco (@adamfrancisco_) February 6, 2022
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.
I heard some American born skater named Beverly Zhu or Zhu Yi #ZhuYi betrayed America by giving up her USA citizenship to join team China in the Olympics. She fell on the ground during her performance and finished dead last. Yeah, she's China material. Made In China. LMAO
- Craig Simpson (@CraigSi_Hi) February 7, 2022
Beverly was born in LA to Chinese parents
Grew up privileged
She surrendered her American citizenship so she could compete for China and changed her name to Zhu Yi
She fell twice during her Olympic debut on Sunday
Finishing with the lowest score~
:wave: Chicom :wave: pic.twitter.com/0xRaoMgnkN
- EdoIsHip❁ ~:flag_us:~ (@HipIsEdo) February 6, 2022
That's what you get for turning against the US for China. That's why some Chinese Americans should be suspect in their loyalties. How do you think China got all that technological innovation?Their people here steal it and send it back. Russians too. https://t.co/TJ5yQ6dExm
- Movie Monster #ADOS (@Pauline98476699) February 6, 2022
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.
#BeStrong, #beresilient, #Zhuyi, don't allow others' expectation to define you nor crush you. #beijingwinterolympics https://t.co/EUYcOnlH1d
- Haiyun Lu (@Haiyunlu) February 6, 2022
You are treated well if you can contribute to the international prestige of the regime. Once you fail then you are thrown aside like yesterday's garbage. When will people ever learn - this regime and society has no benevolence. #CCP #2022BeijingOlympics https://t.co/tDQwizJLyb
- Liddokun (@Liddokun) February 6, 2022
The hate and abuse #ZhuYi is getting makes me sick
Keep your head high & comeback stronger pic.twitter.com/xg3dBgRNYA
- Jean31 (@jean3107_jean31) February 6, 2022
Humans can be so cruel. There are 2 rules in life-one is TREAT OTHERS AS YOU WISH TO BE TREATED.#ZhuYi doesn't deserve the bullying she's receiving for something as senseless as a fall. She is & will always be Chinese, regardless of where she was born.https://t.co/DIqIo8c2XM
- Neda (@ManuscriptOfAty) February 6, 2022
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."