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Touching stories behind the first Olympics gold medals at Rio

(chinadaily.com.cn and Agencies) Updated: 2016-08-18 14:31 Comments

Touching stories behind the first Olympics gold medals at Rio

Hoang Xuan Vinh of Vietnam holds his gold medal on August 6, 2016 in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. [Photo/Agencies]

Vietnam: Veteran Hoang Xuan Vinh wins gold overcoming tough conditions

The 41-year-old veteran Hoang Xuan Vinh won the first-ever Olympic gold medal for Vietnam after claiming the men's 10m air pistol event in the 2016 Rio Olympics.

"I'm happy that I won the first Olympic gold for Vietnam," said Vinh after the match. "It will be my life-time memory."

To overcome that psychological shortcoming, Vinh resorted to another secret. For one year, he practiced only one simple posture over and over -- standing still, making no single moves, saying no single words for two consecutive hours.

Besides the psychological hurdle, Vinh has to overcome another obstacle related to Vietnam's limited budget for sports training. Each day, the marksman is allocated only 100 bullets for practice, one-fifth of the bullets his foreign peers receive.

Vinh took the last media shuttle bus back to the athletes' village after winning the medal as the Vietnam's Olympic Committee did not arrange a special pick-up service. Reporters did not realize they were riding with an Olympics champion until Vinh stepped off the bus, and they applauded loudly for Vinh.

Vietnamese state media reported that Vinh would receive $100,000 from the state on his return - a handsome sum in a country where the average annual income is around $2,100. The prize money will be paid in equal installments over 50 years, and Vinh will be 92 years old until then. The Vietnam government said the decision reflects the country's economic conditions.

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