Women's football coach carries the spirit of sportsmanship at NPC
Sportsmanship helps an athlete overcome obstacles in life, and this is what Shui Qingxia wants to share as a member of the Shanghai delegation to the National People's Congress.
The 56-year-old Shui is the head coach of China's national women's football team. She is in Beijing for the annual meeting of the country's top political advisory body. Shui began playing football at the age of 17 and remains devoted to the sport even after four decades.
Under her leadership, China came from behind to defeat South Korea 3-2 in the 2022 Asian Cup final.
"We were 0-2 down in the first half," Shui explained.
"We made quick adjustments not only to strategies but also to players' mental status and confidence during the half-time break."
"Exactly like when I played," she said, adding, "Chinese women's football consistently rises to challenges."
In the late 1990s, China's women's football team was a global powerhouse, winning silver medals at the 1996 Summer Olympics and the 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup.
Shui competed in the Summer Olympic Games in 1996 and 2000 as a player.
After retiring, Shui coached the Shanghai women's football team before being named national team manager.
"Football is very popular in China," Shui said. "The Chinese women's football team was known as the 'sonorous rose' because of the unity, cooperation, and fighting spirit of the team.
"This kind of spirit can be found in all kinds of industries, with which we can strive for a better life and ensure the country's growth."
"Chinese women's football will inherit the upward spirit," she added. "As for myself, I will maintain my sportsmanship, perseverance, and passion for what I have been doing."