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Athletes engage in fight against COVID-19

China Daily | Updated: 2022-03-30 10:49
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Li Xiaoxia (center), table tennis world champion, works as a volunteer and poses for a photo along with peers at a nucleic acid testing site in the Hunnan district of Shenyang, Northeast China's Liaoning province, March 26, 2022. [Photo/CCTV News]

"Is she that Olympic champion? It can't be real."

After seeing the name "Li Xiaoxia" written on the back of a volunteer's protective clothing, many people waiting for nucleic acid tests wondered if the volunteer in front of them was China's Olympic table tennis champion.

Li, who achieved a career Grand Slam by winning at the Olympic Games, World Championships and World Cup, was volunteering on Saturday at a nucleic acid testing site in the Hunnan district of Shenyang, Liaoning province, helping people register before taking tests.

"Doing my own part in the fight against the virus. Let's overcome difficulties together. I just did my bit. Hopefully the pandemic will be over soon," Li wrote on China's Twitter-like Sina Weibo micro-blogging platform.

"I saw medical staff and volunteers work tirelessly when I took COVID-19 tests before. They worked so hard. As a member of the Communist Party of China and a resident of Hunnan district, I felt an obligation to make my contribution to the city's pandemic prevention and control.

As she left the testing site, Li told medical personnel and volunteers, "Please protect yourselves while working. As long as time permits, I will fight against the virus together with you."

Many netizens praised Li's actions.

"You are so brilliant. Please keep yourself safe as well," one netizen using the name qiaozongaisuofen said.

Olympic cycling champion Gong Jinjie and speed skating world champion Li Qishi have also volunteered in pandemic prevention and control.

A video showing Gong volunteering in Changchun, the capital of Jilin province, has earned over 28,000 likes on the Douyin short-video platform.

Many netizens paid tribute to Gong in their comments.

"Only tears can express my feelings now," one netizen wrote.

Another Douyin user, Dingbo, said, "When the motherland needed you to win an Olympic medal, you made it. When society needs you, you became a hero in fighting against the virus."

Gong said: "I just did something that many people have done. I hope that Jilin can overcome the pandemic and resume normal life soon."

Some Chinese athletes have engaged in the fight against the COVID-19 resurgence in other ways.

Since most people living in Shenyang were told to work remotely from Thursday to Wednesday, the Liaoning Flying Leopards Chinese Basketball Association team posted a video that featured promising star Zhang Zhenlin and fitness coach Jaime Capella giving guidance to people on home fitness.

Su Yiming, who won one gold and one silver in snowboarding at the Beijing Winter Olympics, donated 10,000 pieces of protective clothing to his hometown, Jilin city.

Born in Heilongjiang province, Olympic speed skating champion Gao Tingyu donated 3,000 cases of instant noodles and 90,000 face masks to charity federations in Heilongjiang and Jilin over the weekend.

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