Judo star looks forward to the Olympics 07-26-2004 15:54

Speaking of judo, one of the rising stars of Chinese judo, Gao Feng, has already punched in her ticket to Athens. She has come a long way to be where she is today, and is now training hard to get ready for the upcoming Olympics.

22-year-old Gao Feng was qualified for the Olympics by finishing 5th in the 2003 World Judo Championship. Through 9 years of judo practice, she has grown into true champion and become the new hope of Chinese judo.

Gao Feng grew up in the countryside and was scouted by a track and field coach. She practiced track and field before later moving into judo. She was not a born judoka, but she worked hard to make up for her lack of natural talent. All her efforts paid off when she became the 1997 junior and 1999 youth national champion. In the 9th National Games, she grabbed silver in the 48 kilograms category and was then admitted into the national team. As a young judoka, she has the kind of confidence and maturity normally found only in veteran judokas.

Gao Feng said, "I don't feel too nervous when I am competing. Once I am in the match, I am 100% focused and hardly distracted by noises in the gym. All I can hear at that moment is the instructions from the coach."

Being aware that the Olympics can be psychologically, physically, and technically taxing, her coaches are particularly strict with her during training. Gao Feng uses her own high expectations to push herself even further.

She said, "I really look forward to the Olympics. I fought hard for this. It is the dream of every athlete. I am going to do the best I can."

Gao Feng caught a bad cold before the Chinese New Year, but that did not stop her from working hard. After all, being in the Olympics is a once-in-a-life-time opportunity.


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