A Chinese embassy slammed the Western media for using an 'ugly' photo of weightlifter who won gold

·2 min read
A Chinese embassy slammed the Western media for using an 'ugly' photo of weightlifter who won gold
Zhihui Hou of China.
Zhihui Hou of China. AP Photo/Luca Bruno
  • China's Zhihui Hou won gold in the Women's 49kg Weightlifting competition at the Tokyo Olympics.

  • Reuters ran a story on the win featuring a picture of the 24-year-old straining to make a lift.

  • A Chinese embassy critiqued the photo choice, alleging it "only shows how ugly they are."

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Zhihui Hou won gold for China at the Tokyo Olympics.

But the 24-year-old's country seemed more concerned with her appearance than with her mind-boggling athletic feats.

Zhihui Hou brandishes her Olympic gold medal.
Zhihui Hou brandishes her Olympic gold medal. AP Photo/Luca Bruno

The Chinese Embassy in Sri Lanka criticized Reuters for its photo choice in a story the North American-based media organization ran about Hou's first-place finish in the Women's 49kg Weightlifting competition on Saturday.

The photo in question - shown below - appears to capture Hou straining as she hoists the barbell above her waist:

Chinese weightlifter Zhihui Hou.
Chinese weightlifter Zhihui Hou. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido

In a message posted through its official Twitter account, embassy officials accused Reuters of putting "politics and ideologies above sports" by selecting a photo that "only shows how ugly they are."

"Shameless," they added.

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Hou set Olympic records in three different categories - snatch, clean and jerk, and total - during her hardware-earning performance at the games. Her 210 kg - or roughly 463-pound - haul left the 4-foot-10 star just three kilos shy of breaking her own world record.

The Chinese embassy's tweet didn't mention any of it. And when Twitter users pushed back on the assertion that the photo in question was "ugly" or used in a mean-spirited manner, the embassy doubled down on its accusations.

"Same day, same Olympics, same Reuters, different faces," the embassy wrote on Twitter Saturday. "Maybe it's because everything good in life comes easier for the white westerners?"

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