Olympic swimmer Ye Shiwen’s detractors are facing insistent Chinese nationals demanding an apology.
Sixteen-year-old Ye won in both the 400 and 200m individual medleys and produced a surprising, record breaking performance. Ye broke the world and Olympic records when she finished at 4:28:43 for the 400m race, to the surprise of BBC commentator Clare Balding. Chinese nationals came to Ye’s defense saying that Balding, who questioned how Ye could perform so well, was ‘jealous’.
A string of outraged comments flooded Weibo again when executive director of World Swimming Coaches Association, John Leonard, commented on her win, saying that it was “disturbing”. One Weibo user said, “An apology is very much required – this is a gross violation of [Ye’s] reputation”.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Google’s former president, Lee Kaifu, posted Mr. Leonard’s home address on Weibo and urged people to insist for an apology. Mr. Lee deleted the post but the address had been spread around his 15 million followers and the internet. Mr. Lee apologized for his actions but insisted that Leonard apologize to Ye. Leonard said that either it was “the greatest swim in history” or “something that is not correct”.