Olympic shooting champion to help people overcome fear of failure
“I have been dedicated to shooting and promoting it all my life. I hope more teenagers will love the sport,” said Tao Luna, Olympic 10-meter pistol gold medalist at the Olympic Games. summer of 2000 in Sydney.
“I think I have a lot to do, for example, spread the culture and the spirit of sport.”
Born in 1974, the Shanghai native who joined the Chinese Communist Party in 1997 and is now Party secretary of the Shanghai Cycling and Fencing Center, participates in the centre’s team-building work at its suburban base in Chongming. weekdays to stimulate athletes. fighting spirit.
At the start of the new preparation period, the modern pentathlon team faced a sticky situation as there were not enough mature athletes – some had retired and some were too young (under 18 years old). with little experience). How to develop the team became the biggest puzzle, and the training atmosphere for the whole team was once very weak.
Faced with all the hardships, Tao and his fellow Party members grit their teeth and made plans for the team’s revitalization. Tao spent much of his free time communicating with the athletes to relieve their pressure. As a result, she had no time for her own family. Her husband, Huang Yibin, once joked, “The athletes are your children, while your own son has been left behind.
Tao was heartbroken hearing these words, because she knows she owes so much to her family. But she never gave up, and in her heart, the team has been her “home” and the athletes are her “children”.
After years of hard work, the modern pentathlon team has improved significantly and won two gold, one silver and one copper at the 2020 national championship.
Tao said she has spent much of her free time promoting shooting since her retirement as an athlete in 2013.
In 2020, she launched free classes in Tianping Community of Xuhui District on weekends. She also goes to many elementary and secondary schools in the city to give lectures, explain the basic movements of shooting and popularize the sport. Last year, Tao launched laser shooting competitions among middle school and college students in the city.
“I think that’s what an Olympic champion should do,” Tao said.
As parents in Shanghai pay more attention to children’s academic studies, Tao encourages them to let children exercise and learn sports skill.
“When you learn a skill, sometimes you can also learn the spirit of it,” she said. “Sport is not only physical exercise, it also cultivates one’s quality of mind and will.”
For Tao, the spirit of the sport – in addition to perseverance and always striving to be the best – is not afraid of failure.
“It’s very beautiful when you see athletes on the podium for a few seconds,” she said. “But in fact most of the time we face setbacks and challenges. For me the biggest enemy on the pitch is myself.”
After many years of lecturing, Tao has discovered that what really touches the public are her experiences of failure, most notably the women’s air pistol event at the 1999 Shooting World Cup and her experiences of failure. failure at the Beijing Olympic trials in 2008.
Children in the Tianping community sometimes shared their “great pressure and frustration” with Tao in class. One student said she felt guilty and rushed when she saw her classmates doing their homework while she played during the 10-minute break between classes. Another said that by entering a math competition and not doing well, he felt a sense of frustration.
“If they realize that even the world champion grew up on chess, they won’t worry about their own,” she said.
Tao has created a WeChat account where she tells the stories of champions in Chinese and English comics, which help popularize sports and spread sports culture.