China's 'golden girl' recalls bumpy road to Olympic glory

Updated: Mar 15, 2023 China Daily Print
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"Milano Cortina 2026 might be my last Winter Olympics. Whatever the result will be, I have only one goal, that is to transcend my previous results," said freestyle skiing aerials Olympic champion Xu Mengtao, 33, at the 35th Beijing Book Fair.

The fair offered an opportunity for the athlete to meet readers of her autobiography Mingyun Fanzhuan (Fortune Flips).

Xu was born in Northeast China's Anshan city, Liaoning province, in 1990. Her parents ran a barbecue restaurant, where Xu would help out during holidays. She started her sports career at the tender age of 4 as a gymnast, before switching disciplines to freestyle skiing aerials at 12 years old, when she became considered too tall to continue gymnastics.

To date, Xu has won 55 freestyle skiing aerials championships, according to the International Ski Federation, including the gold she won in Beijing last year, at the age of 32, but they came at a cost.

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