After winning five gold medals in four Olympic games, Chinese diver Wu Minxia announced her retirement during a CCTV live stream on Thursday.
The 31-year-old diver was tearful as she disclosed the reason behind her decision:
“I am really sorry, but my physical condition does not allow me to continue training. I really feared the coming of today.”
Wu emerged victorious with her fifth Olympic gold in Rio de Janeiro in August, where she competed at the women’s three-meter synchronized springboard event alongside partner Shi Tingmao. This, despite the fact that she sustained a leg injury that affected her training before the Games.
The pair scored 345.60 points on five dives, 31.77 points ahead of Italy’s Tania Cagnotto and Francesca Dallapé, NBC Olympics noted. Interestingly, Wu also became the oldest woman to win a gold in diving.
With such record, Wu is easily China’s most successful female diver. She posted on Weibo (via Reuters):
“Now, though reluctantly, it’s time to leave. The story of Chinese diving didn’t start with me and it won’t end with me.”
Wu started diving at the age of six. She joined the national team at 13 and entered the Olympics at 19, South China Morning Post wrote.
Four of her five gold medals were all from the women’s three-meter synchronized springboard event, while one was awarded from the women’s individual three-meter springboard in London back in 2012.
Overall, she bagged seven medals from four Games, the other two being silver and bronze. Only one other Chinese athlete, fellow diver Chen Ruolin, has won five gold medals. Chen Roulin announced her retirement in October due to a neck injury.