Olympic champion Chen Yibing was so delicate as a child that his parents sent him to a gymnastics training camp at the Tianjin Amateur Physical School to build him up.
On Monday they were rewarded, when the 24-year-old won gymnastics gold in Beijing in the rings event.
"Chen has always kept a low profile and is modest," Chen's childhood coach at Tianjin, Zhao Qi, told China Daily.
"But his achievements in gymnastics prove his talent," he said.
Before the Olympics started, however, Chen said he was less talented than his teammates in the national squad, as it took him much longer to master new moves.
But Zhao said Chen was just being modest. "When Chen came to train with me at the age of 5, many of the others in the class had already been training for quite a while.
"But he soon went past them all," he said.
As well as being very hard working and self-disciplined, Chen is easy-going, Zhao said.
"That's was why the school president and I both recommended him for the national squad in 2001," Zhao said.
Chen proved Zhao right when the gymnast won gold in the rings event at the World Championships of 2006 and last year.
With another gold medal secured, Zhao said he is now looking ahead to the next Olympic Games in London.
"By 2012, Chen will be 28, but if he maintains his form I can't see any reason why he shouldn't win gold again," he said.
Source: China Daily