China’s US-born figure skater Zhu Yi said that online abuse heaped upon her after she fell during her Olympics debut affected her performance, a rare acknowledgement of the negative impact of nationalistic fervour on athletes.
Zhu told the official Xinhua News Agency Monday that she felt pressure after reading disparaging comments on Chinese social media. “I wanted to prove myself, because I didn’t do so well yesterday, and what everyone said on the Internet really affected me,” she said. “I have trained very hard. The problem now is psychological. I will try not to be affected by the outside world.”