Short track speed skater to bear national flag at closing ceremony

Updated: 2014-02-22 20:18:44

( Lei Lei in Sochi, Russia

Short track speed skater to bear national flag at closing ceremony 

China's Liu Qiuhong leads during a women's 1,500 metres short track speed skating heat event at the Iceberg Skating Palace during the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics February 15, 2014.  [Photo/Agencies]

China's short track speed skating veteran Liu Qiuhong will bear the national flag for the China at the closing ceremony of the Sochi Winter Olympic Games on Sunday, officials announced on Saturday.

Although having won no medal here at the Sochi Games, Liu's fighting spirit and consistency in her 16-year career earned her the glory, officials said.

"Good results are important for athletes, but spirit is also important factor for a good one," (Q: A good what? Does he mean for a good "athlete"? or perhaps "outcome" ?) said Xiao Tian, deputy chef-de-mission of the Chinese delegation.

Picking up skating at the age of 10, the 25-year-old Liu has been on the Chinese national team since 2007. She's always been one of the backbones of the Chinese team and helped the team win several world championship titles in the women's 3,000m relay.

Liu suffered a leg injury before the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, when she was actually at her peak, and had to miss those Games.

The Sochi Games is Liu's first Winter Games, but Liu didn't bring back her best form.

She failed to reach the 500m final and the 1,500m. In the 1,000m race, she also was disqualified for a penalty in that heat.

"Liu has never given it up and rose up again from her injury in 2010," said Li Yan, head coach of China's short track speed skating team. "When our captain, Wang Meng, had to withdraw due to injury before the Sochi Games, Liu shouldered the task as a veteran and helped the team a lot here."

As introduced by Xiao, freestyle skiing aerials skier Li Nina was a candidate for flag bearer, but Li is suffering a leg injury due to a fall in the final and can not walk normally right now.

The Chinese delegation won three gold medals, four silvers and two bronzes at the Sochi Winter Games, currently ranking 11th at the medal tally. Although the team didn't get better results than at the last Olympics in Vancouver, where China won five gold medals, two silvers and four bronzes, officials are satisfied with the performance of the delegation.

"We are very satisfied with results here," said Xiao. "We cannot value the results only by the number of golds or medals. We have to see that six medals this time were claimed by young athletes that took part in the Winter Olympics for the first time and thirteen young athletes reached the top eight in their events."