Since August 30th, we have been telling the inspirational story of “China’s courageous sailing hero” in her own voice as she strives to succeed despite all that’s thrown at her.
Xu Lijia finally got the chance to train with Jon Emmet in 2011, and it was like a breath of fresh air. His training style was a complete 180 from everything the Chinese sailors were used to, and Lijia flourished under it.
She took on the role of translator for her teammates, and noticed that everyone was enjoying their training now, instead of doing it out of a sense of duty.
Practices were now fun. Sailors were now listened to. But none of that was easy on Jon. He had to train all day, then drink all night with the leaders to maintain good relations with them and ensure that his charges got everything they needed.
It took a heavy toll on him, but it resulted in Lijia getting fourth in a trial run after only four months of formal training following a hiatus of two years due to injuries. Jon even was able to heal Lijia’s back by teaching her Pilates.
The resounding success earned Jon a long-term contract with the Chinese sailing team, and Xu Lijia went on to be the 2012 World Championship Laser Radial Class Gold Medalist, the best female athlete of Chinese sports, and World Sailor of the Year.
The only thing left was the Olympics.
Stay tuned for Sailing Hero In Her Voice Chapter 13, on Dec. 13th (Wed) on ShanghaiEye.
Editor: Zhao Yi