Hangzhou to build statues for hometown champs
Updated: 2012-08-11 20:09:38
Hangzhou, capital of East China's Zhejiang province, plans to erect two statues of its hometown athletes in tribute to their spectacular performance at the London Games that brought four golds, one silver and one bronze, said a local sports official on Friday.
China's Olympic swimmer Ye Shiwen signs autographs for kids in her return to her alma mater - the Chen Jinglun sports school in Xiaoshan, East China's Zhejiang province, August 10. [Photo/CFP]
Swimmer Sun Yang won gold medals in the men's 400m freestyle and 1500m freestyle, came second in 200m freestyle, and was a member of China's 4x200 relay team that fetched a bronze, while the 16-year-old Ye Shiwen also stunned the world with her record-breaking victory in the women's 200m and 400m individual medley.
The two swimmers paid a visit to the Chen Jinglun sports school - their alma mater – in Xiaoshan city on Friday, and received a warm welcome by top sports officials, faculty and, of course, numerous young admirers who dream of rising to stardom.
"Welcome home heroes," was the opener by Zhao Rongfu, director of the Zhejiang Provincial Sports Bureau, who continued to list their achievements over the years. And finally, he announced he ultimate tribute from the city: building bronze statues of the newest sports icons outside the Hangzhou Stadium.
Currently there are four statues of Hangzhou's Olympic/Para Olympic champions outside the stadium: Lou Yun (gymnast), Luo Xuejuan (swimmer), Wu Xiaoxuan (shooter) and Zheng Xiongying (volleyball player).
In addition to the honor of getting statues, the pair received more material rewards the other day, as the Greentown China Holdings Ltd, a local property developer, announced it would award them each a house with a market value of about 3 million yuan ($471,600).