Below is a report about Olympic gymnast Jian Yuyung’s humble beginning. I found it while trying to substantiate which year Jiang, one of the gymnasts accused of being underage, entered local gymnastics program in Liozhou (appearantly 1994 when she was ONE YEAR OLD – if the allegation she was born in 1993 is true):
Jiang Yuyuang: Mommy You Don’t Have to Beg For Food
Jiang Yuyuang’s father Jiang Tao is a taxi driver in Liozhou, mother Oh Fengzhen has no steady income. The family survives on the taxi wages. Jiang Yuyuang has been with the national team a few years and the training stipend has increased, but there’s not much bonus due to lack of good turn outs prior to Olympic and World Cup competitions.
Because of the family situation, Jian Yuyuang grew up fast, and learn a lesson about money early. In 2001 Jiang overspent when she was in Jejiang training with coach Shu Lianglei (now national coach.) When Mother Oh heard daughter owed money, she paid it back, and left some more with the coach. When Jiang Yuyuang found out she cried, and asked her coach “don’t give me anymore spending money, Mom have no money, and Dad’s laid off; I will be careful with my money from no on.”
Gymnastics training is very tough, something most people can’t endure. Jiang Yuyuang had once thought about quitting, and called her mother crying. Mother Oh decided to not coddle Jiang Yuyuang, instead told her “okay, I don’t have a job, so if you don’t want to train, come back and beg on the street with me”. 10 year old Jiang took this joke seriousely, “Mom you won’t have to beg, I’ll train seriousely. Don’t go out and beg, you’ll lose face.”
A girl not quite 10 worried about face, it brings a smile to the grown ups. You can tell Jiang Yuyuang worries about her parents. Mother Oh told the reporter, Jiang Yuyuang only buy things on sale. Once they went shopping for pants, she only picked one pair, and said “mom you can’t buy more, you won’t have money for train ticket”.
During national team training, athelet’s stipend and bonus are managed by the coaches. It’s because Jaing and others are too young to get bank accounts, also coaches worry they might spend carelessly. Jiang Yuyuang sometimes is too clever for her own good, Jiang Tao told reporter, Jiang Yuyuang has one motivation and it’s not scolding or calisthenics, “other things aren’t so effective, but if you threaten to deduct her bonus, she’ll straighten out.”