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Olympic women's volleyball MVP Zhu Ting's long road home

(Xinhua)    19:58, September 09, 2016
Olympic women's volleyball MVP Zhu Ting's long road home
Zhu Ting and her parents

China's star spiker Zhu Ting, the Most Valuable Player in the Rio Olympic volleyball tournament, reunited with her parents in Henan Province Thursday night after a 16-day post-Olympic hustle that took her around the country.

The Chinese women's volleyball team returned to Beijing from Rio with their gold medal in hand on Aug. 23. But despite missing her family, Zhu Ting was too busy to go directly home. She, along with the rest of China's women's volleyball team, had to attend a slew of events upon returning to China.

Zhu Ting and her teammates visited Hong Kong, Macao, Tsinghua University, and Peking University, before she was able to make it back to Zhengzhou. But even then, she was not yet at her family's doorstep; the provincial capital is still some 125 kilometers from her home.

Among other duties, Zhu had to take part in commercial activities. A real estate company even awarded her a 3.6 million RMB (539,000 US dollars) villa both to recognize her achievement and for the purpose of advertising.

"I'm so busy and tired, I like the life on the court but not these activities. However, we need to attend to popularize volleyball and, because so many people now love China's women's volleyball team," Zhu said.

But Zhu's reunion with her family, however sweet and long-awaited, will be a short one.

"I have only two days to stay with my parents. I love them but I have to leave next Monday and fly to Turkey to start my new life in club Vakifbank Istanbul," Zhu added.

Zhu signed with Vakifbank Istanbul in April. The deal was proposed by Lang Ping, head coach of the Chinese women's volleyball team.

"Lang Ping is so kind to all of the team members, and she even bought protein from the USA for me to improve the power of my muscles," said Zhu.

Zhu Ting's father, Zhu Anliang, was so overjoyed at his draughter return that he slaughtered his only three chickens to mark the occasion. He had not seen her since the Chinese Lunar New year in February.

Zhu was born in a little village of central China's Henan Province in 1994. She is one of five children, and because her parents are both farmers, she had a very disadvantaged upbringing.

Zhu left home to study in a sports school in 2007. Standing 1.79 meters tall, she loved to play volleyball, and became a member of the Chinese women's volleyball team six years later.

China won gold in Rio after defeating Serbia in the final on Aug. 20, securing their third Olympic gold medal.

Zhu, who was named the Most Valuable Player after the final, finished as the top scorer of the competition with a total of 179 points including a tournament-high 33 points in the semifinal match against the Netherlands. Zhu capped her Rio performance with 25 points, making her the main Chinese weapon in the final.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor: Zhang Tianrui,Bianji)

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