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Peking Opera faces spotted on cycling athletes' helmets in Rio
   2016-08-13 20:53:53    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Huang Yue

Gong Jinjie & Zhong Tianshi

China claimed its first cycling Olympic gold on Friday after Gong Jinjie and Zhong Tianshi won the women's team sprint in the Rio Olympic Velodrome.

As well as the athletes' performance, the race drew attention to the helmets of the duo, which were dramatically painted with the faces of famous Peking Opera characters.

The repertoire of Peking Opera is often based on Chinese history, folklore, and the lives of well-known Chinese historical figures.

Gong Jinjie

The image on Gong Jinjie's helmet is a legendary heroine named Mu Guiying from ancient China's Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127 AD) and a prominent figure in the Generals of the Yang Family legends.

Brave, resolute and loyal, Mu is a cultural symbol of a steadfast woman.

Gong Tianshi

The image on Zhong Tianshi's helmet is Hua Mulan, a legendary female warrior from ancient China's Southern and Northern Dynasties (420-589 AD).

Hua was known to take her aged father's place in the army. She fought for 12 years and gained much acclaim, but she refused any reward and retired to her hometown instead.

Xu Chao

Another cycling athlete Xu Chao was also spotted wearing such a helmet. The image on Xu's helmet is Zhang Fei (?-221 AD), a military general in the late Eastern Han Dynasty and early Three Kingdoms Period.

Zhang Fei was highly praised for his loyalty and courage.

In addition to the Peking Opera designs, another Chinese element has been spotted at the Rio Games.

Chinese trampoline athletes He Wenna and Li Dan have been seen wearing leotards inspired by traditional Chinese cheongsam, the body-hugging one-piece dress for women.

He Wenna

Li Dan

Related: China wins first cycling Olympic gold at Rio Olympics

               China's trampoline veteran He Wenna announces retirement

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