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Family Withheld Devastating Secrets from Chinese Diver Until She Won Gold

Wu Minxia
Adam Pretty/Getty Images

Last Sunday, Chinese diver Wu Minxia took home gold in the 3m synchronized springboard and became the first woman in history to win three consecutive Olympic golds. But her remarkable accomplishment was marred somewhat when it was revealed that her family intentionally hid devastating secrets as she pursued her career.

According to Wu’s father, the family withheld the fact that her grandparents had died over a year ago and that her mother had been battling breast cancer for eight years. The lies were “essential” to ensuring she remained focused on athletic excellence, he said, and family comes second to Chinese national pride.

“We accepted a long time ago that she doesn’t belong entirely to us,” he said. “I don’t even dare to think about things like enjoying family happiness.”

And now, the Chinese government’s attitude toward athletes is coming under fire. In China, children are often taken from their families and placed in special training schools at a very young age. Wu herself began training daily at a diving camp at age six.

What do you think? Were these just “white lies” as her father described them? Or was it cruel to keep the truth from her?

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