A Chinese street cleaner has reportedly been sacrificing his meals over the past seven years, eating only noodles and steamed buns, to save enough money to help fulfill his daughter’s dream of becoming a gymnast.
The dedicated father, identified as 49-year-old Hou Yanwei, spoke about his daughter’s aspirations in a video interview posted on Tencent.com. “My biggest dream is that my daughter will make the national team,” Hou was quoted as saying.
After divorcing his wife several years ago, Hou now lives with his 11-year-old daughter nicknamed Xinxin, in a tiny apartment that costs 300 yuan ($45) per month. Xinxin, who first expressed her passion for the sport when she was only four years old, has been studying at the Wuhan Institute of Physical Education for the past five years.
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According to the
Chutian Metropolis Daily (via South China Morning Post
), the aspiring gymnast’s father is hoping to see his child make the national team someday. However, Xinxin’s journey to becoming a well-trained athlete has proven to be quite a costly endeavor. Aside from the child’s annual tuition fees that amount to 14,000 yuan ($2,100), Xinxin’s daily expenses total to about 3,000 yuan ($450) a year. Unfortunately, Hou only earns around 2,000 yuan ($300) a month. This is why Hou has chosen to live simply and keep his own personal expenses to a minimum. He divulged that he never allowed himself to spend over 10 yuan per day for his own needs.
“Since my daughter started doing gymnastics, I’ve chosen to eat noodles and steamed buns as they are not expensive,” he revealed. “I am not a capable man and am unable to give my daughter a wealthy family life, but I am willing to carry more bitterness to pay for a good education for her,” he said.
He admits that it can often be quite difficult for him, but he is, at least, hopeful that his sacrifices would mean that his daughter will have a better life than him in the future.