Chinese state media came under fire during the Tokyo Olympics on Thursday as a reporter asked gold-medal winner Gong Lijiao is she has plans for a “woman’s life” and described her as a “manly woman.”
Gong, of China, picked up her first gold at the Olympics. She previously won silver at he 2012 Olympics and a bronze in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. She was the first Chinese athlete to win gold in a field event.
Instead of drawing attention to the extraordinary Olympics she had, the CCTV segment described Gong as a “manly woman,” according to BBC. The reporter asked whether he had any plans for a “woman’s life” and whether she could “be yourself from now on.”
“Maybe I’ll look at my plans. If I don’t train then perhaps I will lose weight, get married and have children. Yes, it’s the path one must take in life,” Gong said.
Lijiao Gong, of China, competes in the qualification rounds of the women’s shot put at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Friday, July 30, 2021, in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)
Gong was then quizzed on whether she has a boyfriend and what she saw in a man.
Chinese social media platforms criticized the interview.
“She is an Olympic champion, and that is not enough to keep you from bringing up being skinny, getting married and having children?” one user on the Douban platform wrote, via the South China Morning Post. “It’s 2021; being healthy and confident makes you beautiful.”
“We should not only talk about women’s marriage and appearance but also their dreams and success,” another user on Weibo wrote.
Another Douban user added: “Won an Olympic gold medal, still can’t shut up this group of nosy women.”