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Ye's dressing to kill and swimming to thrill

By un Xiaochen (China Daily)

09:02, April 12, 2013

Chinese swim star's focus remains in pool, and not bright lights

Every young girl loves to dress up and preen in front of a mirror. Chinese swim star Ye Shiwen is no different; she just did it later in life and before a huge audience.

Nominated for the Breakthrough of the Year Award after her sensational performances at the London Olympics, the 17-year-old Ye appeared at the 2013 Laureus World Sports Awards ceremony in Brazil last month wearing high heels and a blue evening dress for the first time in her life.

Although the attire differed sharply from her daily outfits of sneakers and sweaters, Ye said she enjoyed her debut red-carpet appearance.

"My first time wearing such a formal dress was at such a grand event. I felt refreshed and it was definitely an eye-opening experience for me," Ye told China Daily at the National Championships last week in Zhengzhou, Henan province.

When she first she started to realize her femininity, Ye soon noticed her wardrobe was more functional than fetching.

"There was the shawl which made me looking much older," said a grinning Ye.

Despite missing out the prestigious award, which was given to British tennis ace Andy Murray for his London Olympic and US Open victories, Ye hailed the Brazil trip as worth the effort despite the loss of time to practice and rest.

"I was honored to be invited to go there. Through this opportunity I saw how foreign sports celebrities cope with the spotlight and socialize with each other. That's what we rarely see in China's sports circle," Ye said.

The Brazil visit was another of those out-of-pool assignments which affected Ye's training and recovery after the London Games, where she won gold medals in 200m and 400m individual medleys.

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