From Olympic Gold to Doctoral Student: The Inspiring Journey of Swimmer Wang Shun

Famous Swimmer Wang Shun Begins Doctoral Studies at Ningbo University

Ningbo University made headlines on September 1 as they welcomed renowned swimmer Wang Shun to their campus. The university’s official Weibo account shared images of the reception held for Wang Shun, who now holds a brand new title – a doctoral student in the field of sports human science. Alongside this achievement, Wang Shun has been selected as the torchbearer for the upcoming Hangzhou Asian Games. Representing the Chinese swimming team, Wang Shun is poised to make his mark at the Asian Games held in his home country.

A Journey Fueled by Progress

Born in 1994 into a business family in Ningbo, Zhejiang Province, Wang Shun was a mischievous and active child who often found himself engrossed in playful antics with friends. However, it was swimming that would eventually capture his attention. At the tender age of four, Wang Shun had his first encounter with swimming when his father took him to the pool. Unaware of the nature of the sport, he mimicked his father’s plunge and quickly found himself choking on water.

In 2000, Wang Shun’s potential as a swimmer caught the eye of Coach Luo Ruifen from Ningbo Junior Sports School, who was scouting for talent at Ningbo Commercial Nursery. Wang Shun, with arms three centimeters longer than his height, stood out to Coach Luo. Interestingly, Wang Shun was also displaying talent in painting at the time. Ultimately, swimming won over his choice, with Wang Shun expressing, “Swimming gives me a feeling of continuous progress.”

As he entered the junior sports school, Wang Shun lacked a foundation in swimming and initially displayed a less diligent attitude towards training compared to his peers. Consequently, his assessment results were consistently unsatisfactory, leading to his classification as an unpopular athlete. However, Coach Tang Nengneng recognized Wang Shun’s potential and steered him towards the provincial team for further development.

In 2007, at a swimming competition in Xiaoshan, Coach Tang Nengneng introduced Wang Shun to Zhu Zhigen, the coach of the provincial team. Impressed by what he witnessed during Wang Shun’s two 25-meter sprints, Zhu Zhigen announced his acceptance of the young swimmer. Despite the team being at full capacity, Zhu Zhigen secured an additional quota to accommodate Wang Shun’s inclusion.

In 2009, Wang Shun’s talent led him to join the esteemed Chinese swimming team under the guidance of Coach Zhu Zhigen. Reflecting on Wang Shun’s early days, Coach Zhu Zhigen shook his head, acknowledging his shortcomings. However, he held a special fondness for the young athlete, appreciating his quick-thinking abilities and indomitable spirit, confident that with proper guidance, Wang Shun could achieve great things.

Accompanied by his fellow teammates, Wang Shun attended numerous training camps, witnessing firsthand the immense dedication and effort exerted by the athletes in their quest for fractional improvements. These scenes of relentless training fueled his self-motivation. Embracing Zhu Zhigen’s rigorous training regimen, Wang Shun shed his playful nature and committed himself wholeheartedly, leaving no room for complacency.

Rising Above Setbacks

Wang Shun’s journey as a swimmer hasn’t always been smooth sailing. During his first Olympic appearance in 2012, he failed to advance to the semifinals. However, in 2016, Wang Shun experienced the pinnacle of his career. He secured a bronze medal in the men’s 200-meter individual medley at the Rio Olympics, followed by a historic triumph at the FINA Short Course Swimming World Championships, earning the title of Men’s Mixed Champion in the individual 200m medley – the first-ever by a Chinese swimmer.

The 2019 Gwangju World Championships saw Wang Shun eager for gold, only to finish in sixth place. Determined to prove himself, he pushed his limits and succumbed to overtraining, resulting in a lung rupture and pneumothorax. Despite medical advice, Wang Shun returned to the competition after a mere five days of rest, displaying his unwavering determination.

2021 marked the year Wang Shun clinched his first Olympic gold medal. At the Tokyo Olympics, he emerged victorious in the men’s 200m individual medley. After three Olympic Games, Wang Shun had finally reached the pinnacle of success.

Upon winning the championship, Wang Shun shared his thoughts on Weibo, stating, “Although my name is Shun, my journey hasn’t always been smooth. Today, I want to tell my coach that I have fulfilled our contract! Winning the championship is not the end, but rather a new beginning. See you in Paris…”

The Olympic gold medal holds immense significance for Wang Shun, representing years of hard work and dedication. He expressed his deep appreciation, remarking, “This recognition carries weight, and I must scrutinize its meaning. It’s heavier than I ever imagined.”

A New Chapter: Pursuing a Doctorate

With his Olympic triumph, Wang Shun has set his sights on a new goal – obtaining a doctorate. At the age of 29, he embarked on his doctoral studies at Ningbo University on September 1.

Throughout his professional swimming career, Wang Shun never neglected his academic pursuits. He earned his undergraduate degree at Shanghai Jiaotong University and recently completed his master’s studies at Beijing Sports University. Wang Shun’s application for doctoral studies at Ningbo University reflects his commitment to personal growth and expanding his scholarly horizons.

According to Wang Shun, engaging in academic studies broadens his perspective and contributes to his overall development. He expressed, “Through further research, I aim to address athletic challenges from a scientific standpoint, enhance performance levels, and establish a replicable framework for future athletes.”

On the first day of school on September 1, the official Weibo account of Ningbo University posted photos of Wang Shun’s reception. On this day, Wang Shun, a famous swimmer in Zhejiang, has a brand new identity – a doctoral student in the field of sports human science. In addition, he was chosen as the torchbearer for the Hangzhou Asian Games. This year, at the Asian Games at home, Wang Shun will represent the Chinese swimming team.

“Swimming gives a

The feeling of moving forward”

Wang Shun was born in 1994 into a business family in Ningbo, Zhejiang Province. When he was a child, he was very naughty and active, often playing pranks with his friends and running around, but he didn’t like going home. When Wang Shun was 4 years old, his father took him to experience swimming for the first time in his life. At that time, he did not know what kind of sport swimming was. When Wang Shun saw his father jump into the water, he also jumped, and immediately choked on water.

In May 2000, Luo Ruifen, coach of Ningbo Junior Sports School, walked into Ningbo Commercial Nursery in search of potential swimming seedlings. At that time, Wang Shun, whose arms were 3 centimeters longer than his height, was caught by Coach Luo’s Glance. Interestingly, Wang Shun was still learning to paint at that time, showing some talent for painting. In the end, Wang Shun chose swimming. He said: “Swimming gives me a feeling of continuous progress.”

Wang Shun, who has just entered the junior sports school, does not have a swimming foundation, and he does not work as hard as other athletes in training. Instead, he is rather lazy. His assessment results are often unsatisfactory, and was even listed as an unpopular athlete. Coach Tang Nengneng was very optimistic about him and sent him to the provincial team to continue his development.

In 2007, at a swimming competition in Xiaoshan, Tang Nengneng recommended Wang Shun to the provincial team coach Zhu Zhigen. Zhu Zhigen led Wang Shun to the swimming pool and let him swim two 25-meter sprints. After watching Wang Shun’s performance, Zhu Zhigen said blankly, I accept this child. In fact, the team led by Zhu Zhigen was already full at that time, and there were no more places left. Zhu Zhigen won the extra quota and then included Wang Shun in his team.

In 2009, Wang Shun was brought into the Chinese swimming team by Zhu Zhigen. Speaking of Wang Shun when he was a child, Zhu Zhigen had to shake his head, “It’s too bad, and he would swim five or ten meters less if he didn’t practice training”, but in in fact he liked this kind of bad child from the bottom of his heart, “Bad athletes have a sharp brain, understand It is very high-spirited, as long as the coach can point it out.”

After entering the national team, teenage Wang Shun often followed the players to training camps. In this highly competitive arena, he saw with his own eyes how much effort the players put in. to gain the small gap of a second or two. Scenes of training scenes stimulated his self-motivation. Under Zhu Zhigen’s strict and thorough training system, Wang Shun gradually devoted himself to training, gave away his playfulness, and no longer slacked off.

In 2010, Wang Shun, who was only 16 years old, represented the Chinese team at the Guangzhou Asian Games. Young Wang Shun performed well in the mixed event and won a silver medal for China. At the Shanghai World Championships the following year, Wang Shun made his mark again. As the first bat of the Chinese men’s 200-meter freestyle relay team, he helped the Chinese team win a bronze medal.

Wang Shun’s swimming journey is not “smooth”

Wang Shun’s swimming journey did not start quickly. In his first Olympic outing in 2012, Wang Shun failed to progress to the semi-finals. In 2016, Wang Shun finally led the glorious stage of his career. First, he won a bronze medal in the men’s 200-meter individual medley at the Rio Olympics. Then, at the FINA Short Course Swimming World Championships, he won the Men’s Mixed Champion individual 200m. This is also the first world champion in the history of Chinese men’s medley swimming!

At the 2019 Gwangju World Championships, Wang Shun, who was rushing to win the gold, eventually finished sixth. After that, Wang Shun, who wanted to prove himself, was injured due to overtraining – he ruptured a lung and developed a pneumothorax. The doctor advised him to stop the game and rest as much as possible. And Wang Shun stood on the field after only resting in bed for five days.

In 2021, after a long wait, Wang Shun won his first Olympic gold medal in his life. At the Tokyo Olympics, Wang Shun won the men’s 200m individual medley championship. After three Olympic Games, Wang Shun finally reached the top.

On the day of winning the championship, Wang Shun wrote on Weibo: “Although my name is Shun, it is not smooth. Today, I want to tell my coach that I have fulfilled our contract! Winning the championship is not the end , step off the podium , everything starts from the beginning, see you in Paris…”

Winning the Olympic champion is almost every athlete’s career dream and the highest honor. For this gold medal, Wang Shun attaches great importance to it, “This is the recognition for me for so many years, I have to take a closer look at it, what I mean – I have been working hard for it. thought it was a lot heavier than I thought.”

With the Olympic gold medal, Wang Shun added a new goal to his life plan: a doctorate. On September 1, 29-year-old Wang Shun entered Ningbo University and began his new life of studying for a doctorate.

Wang Shun has never abandoned his studies in his career as a professional athlete. Wang Shun studied as an undergraduate student at Shanghai Jiaotong University. In July this year, he completed his master’s studies at Beijing Sports University and submitted the application materials for doctoral students at Ningbo University. While pursuing his dream of swimming, he is also constantly pushing himself in his studies.

In Wang Shun’s opinion, studying academics can open up perspectives and improve oneself in a general way. Wang Shun said: “Through further study, I want to look at problems from the perspective of scientific research, improve the overall level, better help improve sports performance and provide repeatable experience for the future.”

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