By Henry Chen
The Rio Olympic cycle was not an easy period for the Grand Slam champion Li Xiaoxia. During that time, she went through some troubles which discouraged her to adhere with training and competition. She encountered serious injuries and felt that her time to retire has come.
On the contrary, the Chinese National Team did not totally support such idea. They believe that Li Xiaoxia has the strength to help the Chinese Team in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Sports Director Cai Zhenhua even had to use his authority to persuade the player to continue her service.
Li Xiaoxia, then played in the Olympic Games. She surpassed each round in the Singles leading her to the final bout against her teammate Ding Ning. At this point, Kong Linghui believed that it is already a victory.
“I believe that for Li Xiaoxia, just by going through the brutal competition in the Olympic Game is already a victory. At the same time, she also proved her abilities in the competition. She did not lose a single game against foreigners in both Singles and Team events.” Kong Linghui said.
After the Rio Olympic Games, Li Xiaoxia once again brought up the issue on retirement. This time, the Chinese Team can already understand her. Although they would still want her to continue her service as long as possible, they can now support whatever decision Li Xiaoxia will have.
“I can understand her. It will be much more difficult for her to compete in the next four years for the Tokyo Olympic Games considering her age and injuries. Li Xiaoxia has made a lot of contributions for the team. She gave power as well. The team will respect her views. Whether she wants to stay or leave, we will totally support her.” Kong Linghui concluded.