After helping to win the Chinese national team's match against Serbia at the Olympic volleyball final in Rio, Zhu Ting was named the Most Valuable Player (MVP) by the FIVB Volleyball.
In the semifinal match against the Netherlands, the Chinese team eventually pulled ahead with a score of 2:1. With just one more winning set, they would earn their place in the final. Zhu distinguished herself when, after winning a key point, she held up her index finger and shouted out, "Come on!" Zhu's determined facial expression and impassioned plea earned her many online fans.
But where exactly does Zhu find her passion and ambition? For the Rio Olympics, many speculate that she became more and more determined as her own performance gradually improved over the course of the Games.
The Chinese team lost to the Netherlands in their first group match, in which Zhu's performance was fairly underwhelming. As the matches continued, however, the Chinese team began to gain momentum. Zhu, too, slowly became more confident and competitive.
In the quarterfinals against Brazil, the Chinese team played as well as they ever had before, ultimately emerging victorious. During this match, Zhu's powerful spiking worked to offset the Brazilian team's digging.
Zhu was also the best scorer in the semifinals and final, ranking first for spiking among all the female volleyball players in Rio. Her spiking efficiency was 42.27 percent.
Zhu's performance at the Rio Olympic Games puts her among the best of the best of Chinese women's volleyball. However, it was not an easy journey for Zhu to get to where she is today.
Born to a peasant family in Henan province, Zhu has four siblings. Because of her family's low income level, Zhu came close to dropping out of school and leaving home to work. Fortunately, she was able to finish her schooling.
At the age of 13, Zhu's teacher recommended her to a sports school. That was the start of Zhu's volleyball career. After earning this hard-won chance, Zhu was determined to do well at her new school. Nonetheless, she was terribly homesick at first; she told her father she would stick it out for one week and then come back.
Fortunately, Zhu didn't follow through on her threat. Instead, week by week, Zhu made progress, moving from the provincial youth team to the national youth team to the national team. At the 2013 World Grand Prix, Zhu's performance attracted a great deal of public attention.
Zhu's coach on the provincial youth team, Zhan Haigen, said that talent and hard work are responsible for Zhu's great success. Lang Ping, head coach of the national team, also said that there hasn't been such a talented player in Chinese women's volleyball for many years.
Under Lang's tutelage, Zhu has become a better-rounded player. At the invitation of Turkish club Vakifbank, Zhu will join the Turkish league matches and play with other world-class athletes in the coming season.
(Source from Visual China)