Huang Yu-ting, a Taiwanese speed skater participating in the Beijing 2022 Olympics, drew backlash after posting a video clip on Instagram that shows her wearing a Chinese team uniform during a practice session.
In the video clip, Huang is seen in a black outfit with red sleeves and “China” written on the back of the uniform. She had reportedly received the uniform as a gift from a Chinese competitor and wanted to wear it as a show of friendship.
Since the post went viral, many Taiwanese netizens have expressed their anger and disapproval over the 33-year-old’s choice of outfit. Several users commented that Huang was misrepresenting Taiwan, while others said that she was serving as a propaganda tool for China. Some commentators had even challenged Huang to ask members of the Chinese team to don “Chinese Taipei” outfits, Taiwan News reported.
According to South China Morning Post, Cheng Yun-peng, a Taiwanese politician and member of the Legislative Yuan, stated that Huang should have been more aware of the sensitive political issue involving Taiwan and Japan before posting a video in a Chinese uniform.
Wu Hsiang-fui, a Taiwanese author, also voiced his opinion in a Facebook post that even though Huang was representing Taiwan and using the island’s funds to support her training, her actions were not acceptable and disrespectful to the island.
In a Facebook post late Wednesday, Huang thanked her supporters for cheering her up and explained that the video was removed after she had received a flood of negative comments and private messages.
“Sport is sport and in the world of sports, we do not differentiate nationalities. After the Games, we all are good friends,” she wrote, according to South China Morning Post. She then asked that people continue to support the Taiwanese team despite the backlash from her actions.
While some commented that Huang was making a friendly gesture and only wore it during a practice session, many others still believe that the 33-year-old’s actions were wrong for not being more politically aware.
Despite calls for Huang to be removed from the Games along with her accreditation, Taiwan’s sports administration stated that they would not revoke her from the Games since she removed the video and apologized.