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Huang Yubin, Gold Medal Coach
    2008-06-30 17:14:36     CRIENGLISH.com

Huang Yubin was the first Chinese world champion in men's gymnastics. In his 20 years of coaching the national team, 15 of his pupils won world championships and Olympic gold medals, thus earning him the tag of the "Gold Medal Coach". Our reporter Chen Zhe has more about this amazing man.


With the 2008 Olympic Games around the corner, Chinese gymnasts are gearing up to perform their best at the Games. Huang Yubin is their head coach. He is known for his high standards and has helped many gymnasts win world championships. Fan Di was his first world champion pupil. In 1989, she won the gold medal at uneven bars in the 25th World Gymnastics Championship. 

"I made her perform high difficulty men's routines. I think from then on others never doubted my ability."

The "gold medal coach" was born in an acrobatic family in 1958. In 1970, Huang Yubin was selected as a gymnast for the Liaoning province team. Four years later, he made it to the national team. He won gold on rings in the World Championship 1980. It was the first time a Chinese man won a gold medal in gymnastics.


Huang Yubin, Head Coach of Men's Gymnastics Team of China [photo source: cctv.com]

After the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, Huang Yubin retired from gymnastics and studied at the Beijing Sports University. But he could only study for one semester since the national team needed more coaches. He went back to the gym and started his coaching career with the women's team.

Before Fan Di won the gold medal, many people doubted his ability as a coach. But having proven himself as a coach par excellence over three years in women's team, Huang Yubin started coaching the men's team. In the very beginning, some of his pupils didn't accept his training methods.

"The most difficult thing was that some mature gymnasts didn't follow my rules."

Li Xiaoshuang is one of his pupils. 

"He asked me to repeat a movement several times and I did it. Then he asked me to do more and I refused. He asked me to get out of the gym and I asked why."

They finally understood the coach when they were on the podium. In the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, Li Xiaoshuang won the men's all-around championship. From that year, his students better grasped his style of teaching. Here is his pupil Huang Xu.

"I remember I once got sick and stopped training for several days. But the coach inspired me to get better soon and resume training with renewed dedication. I learned that I should never lose sight of my long-term goals."

In the 2000 Sydney Olympics, Chinese gymnasts won the men's team championship though the preliminary competitions didn't go well. Yang Wei, one of the team members, said they felt great pressure at that time.

"I didn't do well in the preliminary round. But we were confident and we all wanted to do our best for the team."

Huang Xu was also a member of the team. 

"After the preliminary competition, we gathered together and had a discussion about what we might learn from this lesson."

They finally won. And this was the second team gold medal in the history of China's sports arena. The coach Huang Yubin felt excited.

"We had taken such a long time to achieve this, about 40 years. Many of us cried."

After coaching the national team for two decades, he has managed to produce 15 world championships. Apart from being a strict coach, Huang Yubin has a close relationship with his son. After his wife moved to Canada in 1992, staying with his son became one of the most important things for Huang Yubin. 

"After my wife left, I thought I should spend more time with my son. I used to spend little time with him. In that period of time, I was with my son every Sunday to visit museums and enjoy meals together. He was happy."

With the Beijing Olympics coming in 39 days, the coach has devoted all his energy to the gym and his pupils. The whole team is determined to move forward to win more medals.

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