From farm girl to ‘invincible superhero’: The remarkable rise of China’s Zhu Ting

first_img‘Call me Zhu’ After swapping village life for a state-run sports school — where the young Zhu cried for her parents at the outset — she made her debut for China in 2013.Following the Rio Olympics, she moved to Turkey to play for VakifBank and reportedly signed a $1.2 million contract, making her one of the highest-paid players in volleyball.In January last year, Under Armor added Zhu to its list of athletes — joining Tom Brady and Stephen Curry — and said she was “a face of Asia-Pacific” for the US brand.She returned to China to play for Tianjin in October last year, in preparation for helping her country defend their crown at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.The Games have been moved to summer 2021 because of coronavirus.It is a measure of her humble personality that each time praise comes her way, Zhu deflects it away from herself.”Me being the captain is just an idea to the public, but within the team, I’m not really ‘leading’ my team-mates,” Zhu said in an interview published Friday.”They don’t call me captain, they call me Zhu.” Zhu Ting stands tall in China — and not just because she is a towering 1.98 meters.The 25-year-old farmer’s daughter has emerged from a poor village life to become a totem of the sporting ambitions of the world’s most populous country.As captain and figurehead of China’s women’s volleyball team, the reigning Olympic champions, Zhu is one of the country’s biggest stars. ‘Our family was so poor’ Zhu hails from a village in the central province of Henan, her parents are farmers and she is one of five daughters.From an early age one thing was clear — she was tall. By 13 she already stood more than 1.75m.”When she was a little girl our family was so poor that we could not afford a photo of her,” her father Zhu Anliang told state media after her heroics in Rio, where she was the tournament top-scorer with 179 points.”Now our lives are better, but when she comes back to the village she is still just an ordinary farm girl from an ordinary farmer’s family.”All of Zhudalou village has benefited from Zhu’s success with local officials replacing a dirt path to the entrance with a concrete one.Villagers branded it “Zhu Ting road”, according to the state-run Global Times, which called Zhudalou “an obscure and poverty-stricken place”. Zhu, named MVP at the Rio 2016 Olympics as she dragged China to gold, has earned numerous adoring nicknames down the years. Many fans call her simply “Queen”.She is the most prominent sportswoman to emerge in China since Grand Slam-winning tennis player Li Na, with a rags-to-riches life story that has played prominently in the country’s patriotic press.Despite the attention piled on Zhu, Bai Junhong, an editor of an unofficial online fans’ group, describes her as “low-key”. She is not the type to boast, Bai says, and does not post often on Weibo — hence why the fan group has 5.2 million followers on the Twitter-like social media platform, compared to Zhu’s 4.1 million.Bai tells a story of how when Zhu learnt that a fan was terminally ill, she contacted the supporter through social media and sent a signed gift.”She is a role model — willing to learn, has the courage to try anything and can steel herself to face difficulties when she encounters them,” the 32-year-old Bai said.”It is a perfect interpretation of the spirit of the women’s volleyball team that the Motherland is supreme, united, tenacious, hard-working and never fails.” center_img State television once feted her as “an invincible and dominant superhero” and she is held up by Chinese authorities as a shining example of what can be achieved by hard work and dedication to her country.Her stature with China’s ruling Communist Party is such that she was present at its once-a-year congress last month in Beijing.Underlining Zhu’s broader popularity, a nurse fighting coronavirus at the epicenter city of Wuhan in March posted a photograph of herself wearing a white protective suit with a picture of the volleyball star drawn on it.Also scribbled were the words: “Proud that I was born in the era of Zhu Ting.” Topics :last_img read more

​Norway oil fund chair slams government plan to take more SWF money

first_img“This is a violation of a good Norwegian budget practice, which emphasises openness and overall budgeting”Øystein Olsen, Norges BankHe continued: “This is a violation of a good Norwegian budget practice, which emphasises openness and overall budgeting, and that all expenses must be prioritised within the same framework. This will be bypassing it.”Olsen also expressed concern about the way the government had been increasing its use of oil fund money in recent years.Over the last 10 years, the government’s annual withdrawal of GPFG funds has more than tripled to NOK231.2bn in 2019, from NOK74bn a decade ago, according to inflation-adjusted figures in the news report.“I have talked about this a bit in previous annual speeches, and pointed out that we have reached a very high level,” Olsen said. “It is a concern, somewhat independent of these guiding principles.”Coalition agreement proposes new rulesThe plan was first revealed in the government’s new coalition agreement published last month. The declaration includes a paragraph on the idea of changing the principle of the state acting as its own insurer.Under this principle, the state does not insure itself, but covers damage and losses when they arise.“The government will investigate and assess whether replacements where the state is self-insured should be able to be entered as an item 90 in the state budget,” the document states. This refers to funds taken directly from the oil fund rather than from fiscal revenue.The administration wants to use the money to fund a new government building in Oslo for NOK15bn, after the existing buildings were seriously damaged in a terrorist attack in 2011. It also wants to buy a replacement for the KNM Helge Ingstad frigate, which sank in November after colliding with an oil tanker.Norwegian prime minister Erna Solberg has argued that these expenses were extraordinary.“What we have been exposed to here is a massive terrorist attack, in which four major state buildings have been destroyed. We have got a ship that has gone down,” she told Norwegian news agency NTB earlier this month.She said her idea was not to bypass the rules but start a discussion about how the self-insurer principle did not necessarily work for such major incidents.Plans criticisedSeveral other prominent figures in Norway have spoken out in the national media against the government’s idea of taking more money from the oil fund.Svein Gjedrem, a top government economic adviser and former head of the central bank, told Norwegian newspaper VG the idea was in clear conflict with the budget rules.“My main objection is that this is not a loan, but expenses that are not repaid,” he said. “These are actual expenses that have full impact on the Norwegian economy. In this case, according to the budget rules, they should be covered by current income.”Øystein Dørum, chief economist at the Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise (NHO), told VG the projects should not be financed outside the usual state budget.“I am still of the opinion that this should be taken above the line,” he said. “A new government quarter for NOK15bn will undoubtedly impact the Norwegian economy.”The current rules governing the GPFG are designed to ensure only gradual, long-term and responsible use of the oil wealth. They state that the government may take no more than 3% of the fund’s capital a year. Norway’s central bank governor has criticised government plans to change the rules regulating the country’s NOK8.6trn (€881bn) sovereign wealth fund to relax limits on annual withdrawals.Øystein Olsen, who also chairs the Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG), added his voice to those criticising the government’s plan to alter the rules so it can dip into the fund to replace terrorist-hit buildings and a crashed Royal Norwegian Navy frigate.This would involve taking around NOK19bn from the GPFG, which has grown from Norway’s oil revenues.The idea was a “violation” of good Norwegian budget practice, Olsen told Norwegian news service E24 yesterday. A spokesman for Norges Bank, the central bank, confirmed his comments to IPE. “They say they should investigate the matter,” Olsen told E24. “I don’t think they need to spend so much time on it, because there is not very much to study.”last_img read more

​AMF invests in unlisted COVID-hit firms via new JV

first_imgJohan Sidenmark, AMF chief executive officer, said: “I am very pleased that together with like-minded partners we can vigorously expand and broaden our efforts to invest in viable Swedish companies that are in need of capital to get through the economic crisis we are in.”At the beginning of April, the pension fund announced it was preparing to invest billions of kronor over the coming months, to support local firms it viewed as long-term investments during the pandemic, earmarking SEK5bn as a first step.The fund followed up on the pledge by by investing SEK114.5m in a capital placement deal for struggling Swedish brake-component maker Haldex in May.AMF said SEB had invested SEK1bn in Sindre Invest, with FAM and the Wallenberg Foundations putting in SEK500m – totalling SEK3.5bn including AMF’s SEK2bn contribution.It said SEB would also be contributing staff to the joint venture – to get business started quickly by 1 July – with Sindre Invest hiring those with relevant experience in investing, credit management, equity and debt financing.Jan Amethier, head of SEB’s tech finance business, will take up the role of CEO, AMF said.To read the digital edition of IPE’s latest magazine click here. Sweden’s second-largest pension fund AMF announced it is forming a new joint venture, alongside bank SEB and FAM, the holding company of the Wallenberg foundations, to invest SEK3.5bn (€333m) in unlisted domestic firms under pressure from the pandemic-induced economic crisis.The SEK622bn blue-collar pension fund said it had put in SEK2bn to the new company, named Sindre Invest, which would mainly invest in privately and family-owned companies that did not have access to the stock market.AMF said in a statement: “Sindre will invest in medium-sized Swedish companies that were successful before the crisis and are expected to be so again when the economy returns to normal.”The pension fund said investment targets would be firms with at least 250 employees and turnover of over SEK300m, with Sindre Invest becoming a minority shareholder. The stated aim would be for firms to be able to repurchase the shares when the crisis was over.last_img read more

How the federal election is impacting the Gold Coast property market

first_imgMr Bell said interstate buyers will help the Gold Coast market if Labor are elected. More from news02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa11 hours ago02:37Gold Coast property: Sovereign Islands mega mansion hits market with $16m price tag2 days ago“With the poll out of the way, the fundamentals that have driven the local market for the past couple of years, including the strength of interstate migration, will not have changed,” he said. “Interstate buyers who are new to the Gold Coast are impressed by how far their dollar stretches here and that should continue to support our market for some time yet.” The election has already disrupted the strong start to the year the Gold Coast market had.However, real estate heavyweight and Ray White Surfers Paradise CEO Andrew Bell said there could be a post-election surge in activity. “We should expect to see a flurry of activity before any laws are legislated through the senate and this will add to the buying activity that has been demonstrated through very successful and well attended auctions throughout the first four months of the year,” he said. His agency are hoping to capitalise on the surge at their annual mid-year auction event on June 20. MORE NEWS: Now, this is how to downsize MORE NEWS: Restaurateur’s old digs dished up to the market Agents on the Glitter Strip are bracing themselves for potential changes to the property market after the election.As voters head to the polling booths this weekend, Gold Coast real estate agents are bracing for what could be a huge disruption to the property market. Labor’s proposed plans to abolish negative gearing on existing dwellings has been the forefront of concern for agents. And the effects of the election are starting to hit with agents reporting quieter conditions in the lead up to voting day, interrupting the solid start to the year the Gold Coast had. center_img REIQ Gold Coast zone chairman Andrew Henderson said Bill Shorten’s negative gearing reforms could be detrimental.Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) Gold Coast zone chairman Andrew Henderson said he also expected activity from investors to pick up after the election if there’s a change in government. But he has grave concerns if Labor’s policy, where negative gearing would only be available for investors buying newly constructed property, were to come into play. The changes are set for January 2020 and Mr Henderson said it could be detrimental. “Simply put, this is a lose-lose policy,” Mr Henderson said. “The Queensland government has already announced a shortfall of $1.32 billion revenue in stamp duty due to falling house values and transaction volumes. “Wholesale changes to negative gearing arrangements could not come at a worse time and will be simply devastating for Queensland.” SQM research found rents could rise by 22 per cent if the reforms are introduced, in turn, forcing tenants out of established suburbs. “Most tenants would prefer to live in houses already constructed in established suburbs but rental properties in these areas will dwindle because investors will shy away from buying existing properties,” Mr Henderson said. Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 1:54Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -1:54 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD576p576p432p432p180p180pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreen2018: What is negative gearing?01:55last_img read more

Sevilla to swoop for Super Eagles defender Chidozie Awaziem

first_imgSevilla have been linked with an €8m swoop for Nigerian international defender Chidozie Awaziem, owned by Portuguese giants FC Porto. Read Also: Mikel disrespected Turkey’s code of conduct – Dosu Awaziem made his Porto debut in 2016 but has mainly spent time out on loan since – for the 2017/18 campaign he was on loan at Nantes in France before joining Turkish club Çaykur Rizespor last season and moving to Leganes last summer. He has been capped 16 times by the Nigerian international team. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Promoted ContentWhat Happens To Your Brain When You Play Too Much Video Games?Best & Worst Celebrity Endorsed Games Ever MadeWho Is The Most Powerful Woman On Earth?Playing Games For Hours Can Do This To Your Body14 Hilarious Comics Made By Women You Need To Follow Right Now7 Ways To Understand Your Girlfriend BetterSurprising Things Women Found Attractive 50 Years Ago5 Of The World’s Most Unique Theme ParksThe Very Last Bitcoin Will Be Mined Around 2140. Read MoreWhich Country Is The Most Romantic In The World?Believe It Or Not, Paul Rudd Is Turning 50 This Year6 Unforgettable Shows From The 90s That Need To Make A Comeback The 23-year-old is currently on a season-long loan deal at Leganes but is said to be available for transfer this summer by Portuguese newspaper Récord and the Andalusian club are interested, as cited by Estadio Deportivo. The central defender has impressed at Leganes this campaign – making 18 appearances in La Liga and showing signs that he is not out of place in the division. His contract at the Portuguese club expires in the summer of 2021 and they are said to be ready to cash-in on his signature this summer, with Sevilla currently leading the interest. Loading… last_img read more

Sancho sets Dortmund assists benchmark in cameo at Wolfsburg

first_imgAdvertisement FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Jadon Sancho has not yet returned to Borussia Dortmund’s starting line-up since the Bundesliga’s restart, but his stunning season shows no signs of slowing.For the second week running, Sancho was named among the substitutes at Wolfsburg ahead of Dortmund’s huge midweek clash with title rivals Bayern Munich.But the England winger was introduced in the second half on Saturday as BVB protected a one-goal lead secured by the in-form Raphael Guerreiro.With 12 minutes remaining Sancho slid in Achraf Hakimi to double Dortmund’s lead and register his 16th Bundesliga assist of the season.That figure represents a new record for Dortmund players since detailed data collection began in 2004-05, with Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s 15 in 2015-16 the previous benchmark.Read Also: La Liga: Spanish Prime Minister confirms restart dateOnly Bayern’s Thomas Muller has as many assists this term as Sancho, with the 20-year-old also scoring 14.The Bundesliga record belongs Kevin De Bruyne after his 20 assists for Wolfsburg in the 2014-15 season. Promoted Content7 Universities Where Getting An Education Costs A Hefty Penny6 Incredibly Strange Facts About Hurricanes6 Ridiculous Health Myths That Are Actually TruePlaying Games For Hours Can Do This To Your BodyWorld’s Most Delicious Foods9 Facts You Should Know Before Getting A TattooThe World’s 7 Most Spectacular Railway StationsBest & Worst Celebrity Endorsed Games Ever Made6 Best Natural History Museums In The WorldWhich Country Is The Most Romantic In The World?This Guy Photoshopped Himself Into Celeb Pics And It’s Hysterical5 Of The World’s Most Unique Theme Parks Loading… last_img read more

Winter Wonderland ice rink opens this weekend

first_imgLawrenceburg, IN—Lawrenceburg Main Street will kick off the start of the holiday season this weekend with the opening of the Winter Wonderland Ice Rink, a covered outdoor ice skating rink that will remain open through January 5.The rink will officially open at noon this Saturday. To celebrate the grand opening, skaters can enjoy a ‘Luau on Ice’ beach theme. Visitors will also want to mark their calendars for December 14, when Santa and Mrs. Claus will visit the rink.Cost is $6 for adults; $4 children Age 14-and-under, and Children 2-and under are free.  Season passes also available and cost includes skates.last_img

Roberto Martinez: Everton defender Phil Jagielka out for up to nine weeks

first_img England international Jagielka, 33, picked up the injury in the 2-1 loss at Arsenal on Saturday and although Martinez was pleased his knee cartilage and cruciate ligament remain unaffected, the Spaniard could be without his centre-back for the next two months. “I wouldn’t expect anything longer than eight to nine weeks,” Martinez said when asked about the defender’s recovery timetable. Everton defender Phil Jagielka could miss up to nine weeks with medial knee ligament damage, Toffees manager Roberto Martinez has confirmed. The injury will ensure England manager Roy Hodgson is unable to select Jagielka for the November friendlies with Spain and France while the defender’s club side could be without their skipper for the remainder of the calendar year. However, Martinez was upbeat about the severity of the problem amid initial concerns Jagielka could have been out for an even longer period of time following the challenge from his international colleague Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. “After the game we expected the worse, especially in the way that the injury happened and rotating that knee – it could have been anything,” Martinez added. “We had the scan and his medial ligament is affected, it’s an injury that is quite straightforward from that point of view, but there is no other damage in the knee. The meniscus, the cartilage and the cruciates are very, very strong. It’s the least (damage) that it could be.” Jagielka and striker Romelu Lukaku are the only players to have started every game in all competitions this season, but the former will need to replaced in the line-up for Norwich’s visit to Goodison Park in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday. Martinez confirmed Joel Robles will start in goal in place of Tim Howard, as he did in the last round, while Gareth Barry’s late dismissal against the Gunners rules him out through suspension – meaning three of the squad’s most experienced members will not play on Tuesday. “It’s a huge miss,” Martinez said of Jagielka’s absence. “This campaign we’ve had to cope with many injuries already, especially in the back four. You rely on certain leaders to allow young players to come in and be able to perform. Phil Jagielka’s role in that has been immense and probably that’s what will be missed. Press Association “You don’t want to lose your captain, you don’t want to lose an influential player, but that happens in a season – you get injuries, you get suspensions and you have to cope with that. “As a team we’ve got other senior players who can take over that role and that influence and that’s what we need to show on Tuesday.” Jagielka’s injury will likely open the door for Ramiro Funes Mori to partner John Stones at the heart of defence for an extended period, with the Argentinian having made just two starts since joining from River Plate this summer. Martinez is confident the 24-year-old can grasp the opportunity Jagielka’s injury has presented him. “He’s had a good period now to settle in, to understand the team-mates, the way we want to play and the league itself,” Martinez said. “I thought he was so impressive in all the roles he had to take from playing in the League Cup, from having to perform in a Merseyside derby, from having to come on in a difficult moment against the league leaders. I’ve been very, very impressed with him. “I think he’s ready. He’s someone with an incredible, brave attitude – very commanding.” last_img read more

Tight end Addazio to transfer, join father at Boston College

first_img Published on January 3, 2013 at 4:58 pm Contact Chris: | @chris_iseman Syracuse tight end Louie Addazio will transfer to Boston College to join his father and new Eagles head coach Steve Addazio, The Post-Standard reported Thursday.Addazio, a sophomore, hasn’t played in any games during his two injury-marred seasons at Syracuse. He had shoulder surgery during his senior year at Buchholz High School in Florida, and had more surgery after his freshman season with the Orange.Addazio will sit out next season per NCAA transfer requirements.Addazio was mainly a blocking tight end in high school, but as a junior in 2009, the tight end had four catches for 60 yards. He was also given honorable mention all-area honors by the Gainesville Sun for his performance as a defensive end that same season.Steve Addazio, who was an assistant coach at Syracuse from 1995 to 1998, became the head coach at Boston College on Dec. 4. He arrived at BC after being the head coach at Temple for two seasons. Temple went 9-4 in 2011, then finished the 2012 season 4-7 in the Owls’ first season back in the Big East.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Venus Williams Brings Activewear ‘EleVen’ to Africa

first_imgThe body, founded in 2012 by the American-born global tennis icon, has grown to become one of the most widely accepted among female activewear fashion brands around the world.Now, the label looks to break new boundaries in its latest international brand expansion.Speaking about the brand in an email by Temple Management Company (TMC), Venus said, “The name EleVen represents how I strive to live every day.“That is, without limits. In our world, ‘10’ is just another number, but EleVen is a lifestyle – it’s about challenging your status quo, embracing positive change, and going beyond.”Meanwhile, TMC plans to announce further details of distribution as well as an official roll out date.Specific details on which collections will be available, price points, and where to buy will be shared at a later date.Venus Williams is an active wear line that ‘Fashions Healthier Lives’ with a mission to motivate and empower women to feel confident, strong and express their individuality.Bringing style to fitness, the emphasis of each collection is not only on how the clothes perform, but the design inspiration with the introduction of a new color pallet and prints.The high-quality pieces offer flattering feminine fits in beautiful fabrications. The collections of fitness and tennis are designed to allow women to strive each day without limitsThe TMC is a full-service creative talent and event management company incorporated in Nigeria and operating in the Entertainment, Sports, Media and Art sectors.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Venus Williams’ renowned activewear brand, EleVen By Venus Williams, is collaborating with leading West Africa-based creative talent agency, Temple Management Company to expand its retail business to the continent.Head of Sports for The Temple Management Company, Koye Sowemimo, said in a press statement yesterday in Lagos that the partnership was a natural fit.“We are delighted to bring a global quality brand such as EleVen by Venus Williams to Nigeria,” he said.“Venus needs very little introduction to the Nigerian market not only as a global icon in the sport of tennis, but from her last visit in 2012. We look forward to growing the brand in Nigeria and across Africa.”last_img read more