Olympic champion Ding Ning to embark on new chapter in life
Oct. 09, 2023
HANGZHOU, Oct. 7 (Xinhua) -- Olympic champion Ding Ning has embarked on a series of new roles in recent years, transitioning from an athlete to a Peking University teacher and from a member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference to a member of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), continuously opening new chapters in her journey of life.
"I have participated in so many major competitions, faced so many people, but today there was indeed a moment when my mind went blank," Ding said of the moment the OCA announced her election as a member of the Athletes' Committee at the Hangzhou Asian Games on Saturday. The table tennis Olympic champion, who has experienced ups and downs, found herself at a loss for words.
After leaving the press conference hall, Ding walked and absorbed this sudden news.
"Not long ago, I received the news of my candidacy for the Athletes' Committee. For the past ten-plus days, I have been busy with the election at the Asian Games. Just like everyone else, I learned about my selection only a few minutes ago," Ding said.
From Heilongjiang to Beijing, from Olympic champion to captain of China women's table tennis team, in 2021, Ding chose to retire and pursue further studies at Peking University. During this time, she also became a member of the Heilongjiang Provincial Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.
This July, Ding graduated with a master's degree from Peking University and stayed on campus as a teacher. The multiple changes to her identity over the past two years have already taught Ding how to adapt quickly.
"Growth experiences have taught me that only by daring to challenge and rise against the wind can we see the light through the clouds. The insight gained from studying at Peking University prove this," 33-year-old Ding said, adding that her learning experience at PKU deepened her understanding of sport.
However, the beginning is always difficult, and joining the Asian Olympic Council is no exception.
"Because it was the first-ever election of the OCA Athletes' Committee, I didn't have any reference points. I had to feel my way, even though I have an outgoing personality. Introducing myself to everyone every day requires great initiative. I was shy and needed time to adapt," Ding said.
But with her cheerful personality, she quickly adapted to the rhythm and got to know many new colleagues during the candidacy period. "Candidates come from different countries and regions, with diverse sporting backgrounds. The process of communication has been a great experience."
Ding considers herself honored to be elected, saying that serving as a member of the Athletes' Committee will not only allow her to grow further but also provide inspiration and assistance to other athletes.
"Every athlete must face retirement and transition, so I hope that in the future, I can not only help more athletes pursue their dreams, but also provide more support in their lives and future choices," Ding said, while acknowledging that she has not had time to make specific work plans yet.
"I will think more, learn more, and quickly immerse myself in my new work," she said.
"Thanks for everyone's support. It was a worthwhile trip, filled with rewards. I will continue to strive forward on this new journey." Leaving the main media center of the Hangzhou Asian Games, Ding left behind these words on Weibo, marking the beginning of a new chapter in her life.
Xinhua News Agency