Saturday, September 1, 2007

Eight-year-old Girl Runs 3500 km To Beijing

Zhang Huimin is probably the most famous kid in China at this moment. She just finished her 3500 km run from Sanya, Hainan to Beijing. Hainan is the most southern province of China, and Beijing, well, is all the way up north. The state media said that she did this to celebrate the 2008 Beijing Olympics but at the same time this extraordinary performance also brought her father accusations of child abuse.

Zhang Huimin runs with her father following behind on a motorized bicycle


I find it extremely hard not to think this as child abuse. Apparently little Huimin gets up at 2:30 a.m. every morning and trains for several hours before school. Her mom was so fed up with the father's crazy training method that they have become separated. Huimin started her marathon training when she was just 3. Her father's plan? To make into the national professional team by the time when Huimin is 13 and compete in the 2016 Olympics.

A medical doctor has announced that Huimin is dangerously underweight for her age and one blood test revealed that her body showed various signs of fatigue and malnourishment.

The father's response to the accusations?

"She loves running. I didn't impose my will on her."

"It's worth paying the price and making sacrifices for the glory of the country."

Strange thing that he didn't mention fame and money, because apparently he is making his daughter practice her autographs at home.

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