Chinese athletes engage in fight against COVID-19 resurgence
"Is she that Olympic champion? It can't be real." After seeing the name "Li Xiaoxia" written on the back of a volunteer's protective clothing, many people waiting for nucleic acid tests wondered, linking the volunteer in front of them with China's Olympic table tennis champion.
It took place on Saturday in Shenyang in northeast China's Liaoning Province, and the residents on site had indeed guessed correctly.
Li, who had achieved a career Grand Slam of winning at the Olympic Games, World Championships and World Cup, was working as a volunteer at the nucleic acid test point in Shenyang's Hunnan District, helping people register before taking tests.
With the latest COVID-19 resurgence, China is making every effort to rein in the virus.
"Doing my own part in the fight against the virus. Let's overcome difficulties together. I just did my bit. Hopefully the pandemic will be over soon," Li wrote on China's Twitter-like social platform Weibo.
"I saw medical staff and volunteers work tirelessly when I took COVID-19 tests before. They worked so hard. As a member of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and a resident of Hunnan District, I felt an obligation to make my contribution to the city's pandemic prevention and control," added Li.
Li was soon recognized by her daughter sitting in a pram. "Mom, mom," Li's daughter cried out continuously before asking her mother, "Mom, will you go back home?"
"I will go back home later," Li replied to her daughter.
"Please protect yourselves while working. As long as time permits, I will fight against the virus together with you," Li told medical staff and volunteers when leaving the workplace.
"After volunteering this time, I found that these volunteers and medical staff did much more than I had expected. I hope that more people can engage in volunteering and feel a sense of fulfillment and happiness like me through helping others," said Li.
Many netizens have praised Li's actions in the fight against the virus.
"You are so brilliant. Please keep yourself safe as well," commented one netizen named "qiaozongaisuofen".
Like Li, Olympic cycling champion Gong Jinjie and speed skating world champion Li Qishi also volunteered in pandemic prevention and control.
A video showing Gong volunteering in the city of Changchun has earned over 28,000 likes on the short-video platform Douyin.
Many netizens paid tribute to Gong in their comments.
"Only tears can express my feelings now," a netizen named "mantiandoushixiaoxingxing" wrote.
"When the motherland needed you to win an Olympic medal, you made it. When society needs you, you became a hero in fighting against the virus," another Douyin user "Dingbo" commented.
"I just did something that many people have done. I hope that Jilin can overcome the pandemic and resume normal life soon," said Gong.
"I want to do something for my hometown," Li explained about her volunteering.
"Normally I trained and competed in other places and seldom came back home all year round. I had a holiday after the Beijing Winter Olympics, and then came the COVID-19 pandemic. I have an obligation to become a volunteer and do something for my hometown," she added.
Some Chinese athletes have engaged in the fight against the COVID-19 resurgence in other ways.
As most people living in Shenyang are required to work remotely between March 24 and 30, the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) side Liaoning Flying Leopards posted a video featuring promising star Zhang Zhenlin and fitness coach Jaime Capella, giving guidance to people on home fitness.
Su Yiming, who won one gold and one silver in snowboarding at the Beijing Winter Olympics, donated 10,000 items of protective clothing to the city of Jilin, which is his hometown.
"Keep going, Jilin. Medical staff have worked so hard," he wrote on the boxes containing the protective clothing.
"At age 18, he is so inspiring," commented one netizen.
Born in northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, Olympic speed skating champion Gao Tingyu donated 3,000 cases of instant noodles and 90,000 face masks to charity federations in Heilongjiang and Jilin on Saturday. It is reported that these goods arrived in Heilongjiang and Jilin on Sunday.