'Sheer Tenacity': Taiwan Skier Falls on Slope, Picks Self Up

By HUIZHONG WU, Related Press

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — When 19-year previous Maggie Lee fell on her first run down the slope and missed one of many early gates, it regarded just like the abrupt finish of her first Olympics.

{The teenager} from Taiwan, who’s competing underneath her Chinese language identify, Lee Wen-Yi, was already an unlikely candidate for the Winter Olympics. Taiwan is a subtropical island that solely sees snow in its excessive mountains — after which solely sporadically. So the one occasions Lee may ski have been throughout faculty holidays when she would journey to Japan together with her ski-instructor dad and mom.

She later educated in Europe, and her father would drive her to competitions, zigzagging between nations.

Standing on prime of the hill in Yanqing on Wednesday morning, on the largest stage in her profession, she thought one thing may go improper. However she nonetheless did not anticipate to truly fall.

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“I really didn’t suppose I’d fall so rapidly. It was solely the third goal on my first run,” she stated. “I’ve labored so laborious for therefore lengthy. I believed this was not OK.

“So I made a decision to face up and climb again up.”

Lee scooted up on the hill, in full ski gear, one step at a time, till she reached the gate she missed, which she then hit together with her physique.

After which she completed her run.

After which she went for the second leg, hitting all of the gates.

“I did suppose, is it okay for me to climb like this on the Olympics?” she stated.

Many different opponents have been disqualified after lacking gates in Wednesday’s competitors, together with U.S. skier Mikaela Shiffrin, who was among the many favourite to win a number of medals at this Olympics.

Lee’s evaluation: A lot of the aggressive athletes wouldn’t select to climb as a result of they’re centered on their occasions and medals. Lee, although, is the primary feminine slalom skier to characterize Taiwan on the Video games, competing underneath the identify of Chinese language Taipei. She by no means got down to win a medal, she stated, however simply to “ski fantastically.”

Since Wednesday, she’s been overwhelmed by the constructive response on the Chinese language- and English-language web, after Eurosport, a media outlet, posted a video of her fall and climb on social media, calling it an instance of the “Olympic Spirit.” The video went viral, with greater than 20,000 individuals liking the put up. It was rapidly picked up by Taiwanese media as nicely.

“Sheer tenacity! That is what makes the Olympics particular,” wrote one Fb consumer.

“With this kind of spirit, even when she would not win, I nonetheless really feel very, very proud,” wrote one other.

And was she glad with the consequence? It added about 15 seconds to her time, and he or she completed in fiftieth place.

“I’ve been made well-known by one fall,” she joked. However she was glad.

Observe Taiwan-based Related Press journalist Huizhong Wu on Twitter at http://twitter.com/huizhong_wu

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