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Father No Longer Recognizes His Olympic Gold Medalist Son

Lin Qingfeng holding up his men's weightlifting gold medal.

Lin Qingfeng with his gold medal.

From Sina Weibo:

Men’s Weightlifting First Gold Medal Winner Hasn’t Seen Parents In 6.5 Years, Father No Longer Recognizes Son: Lin Qingfeng won the first London Olympic Games gold medal for the Chinese men’s weightlifting team, but few people know the hardship behind it all——23-year-old Lin Qingfeng and his father haven’t seen each other in six and a half years, and his father Lin Zhiren has already gotten to the point where he couldn’t even recognize his son while watching him compete…

Lin Qingfeng's father on a television interview.
Lin’s Father: “I haven’t seen my child in 6 and a half years.” News headline: “Lin Qingfeng wins, father sings national anthem in tears to congratulates him.”

From Sina:

Men’s Weightlifting First gold medal winner hasn’t seen parents in for 6 and a half years, father no longer recognizes son

[…]

Over 7 hours after Lin Qingfeng had won the first Chinese men’s weightlifting gold medal and the 13th gold medal for the Chinese delegation to the London Olympic Games, television reporters paid a visit to Lin Qingfeng’s home. The little more than 30 square meter home wasn’t, and there weren’t many household appliances, but the entire family was immersed in the joys of their son winning the gold medal and brought out Lin Qingfeng’s childhood pictures to show the reporters. Lin Qingfeng’s father Lin Zhiren told the reporters, had he not heard the introductions by the commentator, he really wouldn’t have recognized his own son: “It’s been six and a half years since I’ve seen my son. Even when he came out to compete I almost didn’t recognize him. Only after the television station said it was Xiamen athlete Lin Qingfeng did I pay attention and realized this was him.”

Lin’s father already no longer recognizes his son, and Lin’s mother Ye Queshi also misses her son terribly. She said to the reporters: “Whatever he likes to eat (when he comes back), I’ll cook it for him. It’s been a long time since he’s had a meal at home, its been too seldom…”

According to reports, Lin’s father is a porter, Lin’s mother is a cleaner, the entire family’s income is very limited, and the 40 to 50 thousand yuan of debts the family had owed was paid off with all the award money Lin Qingfeng received from winning a medal at the 2009 National Games. Now, Lin Qingfeng’s parents, their daughter, their son-in-law, and their grandson who has just turned 1 month old, all five of them live together in the little more than 30 square meter home. Because the house is too small and unable to accommodate too many people watching the competition, Xiamen Sports Bureau leaders picked up and brought Lin Qingfeng’s parents to the Bureau to watch.

“When my son returns, my hope is for the entire family to take the family photo that to this day we haven’t been able to take,” Lin’s Father Lin Zhiren said.

Lin Qingfeng weightlifting.

Comments from Sina:

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新浪科威特 al kuwaytjqqxaxy:

When a nation that has lost even the basic filial piety and morality, will more gold medals be enough to prove that it is a world sports power? How can people show off with this kind of news? What a shame!

新浪陕西西安 手机用户:

Gold medals and humanity, which is more important? What if he got a silver medal? Would there still be so much attention [on him and his family]?

新浪上海杨浦 wzdsniper:

What’s the point of winning a gold medal this way…

新浪微博 阿憧:

Misshapen development of competitive sports.

新浪微博 墨山宵小:

When family is put aside and ignored, no matter how glorious the accomplishment, it still isn’t success.

新浪微博 助人即积福:

People have become so alienated [from each other] that they’re no longer humans.

新浪微博 世世如棋局:

Pathetic Nationwide Sports System [a government policy for the development of China’s international athletic competitiveness].

新浪微博 中青旅韩杰:

Pathetic, what’s the point of becoming a champion like this, [when one’s father] no longer even recognizes his own son.

新浪微博 在忙碌中长大:

Is there still humanity left? Intolerable. 鄙视

新浪微博 Outsider_GY只做局外人:

They paid too much for a gold medal.

新浪微博 Gao_Xingming:

My heart is chilled by this gold medal, so inhuman…

新浪微博 留在你心边:

How can it be like this? Is a gold medal more important than family?

新浪微博 雷击青瓜:

This… is going too far, even joining the army and going to war wouldn’t be like this. How wronged those unsuccessful kids must be, no gold medals and unable to see their parents…

新浪微博 香蕉群:

A twisted machine [referring to the the training of professional athletes in China].

新浪微博 presentso:

Thumbs up!!! The downward kind.

新浪微博 陈友重:

The tragedy of China’s sports system.

新浪微博 艾薇橙:

This time he can go home.

新浪微博 Dlarry_wrh:

Winning glory for the country is indeed something our countrymen look forward to, but China should rethink its sort of “all ethics and morality should give way to the system” Olympic mentality.

What is the longest period of time you have gone without seeing your parents?

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Lin Qingfeng holding up his men's weightlifting gold medal.

Written by Peter Barefoot

Peter is a born and raised Chengdunese who enjoys drinking with all his friends.

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