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2016 Rio Paralympics: 7-time gold medalist struggled after 2012 Games

Reporter: Mike Fox 丨 CCTV.com

09-07-2016 16:01 BJT

Full coverage: 2016 Rio Paralympic Games

To stay in Rio where China's seven time Paralympic gold medalist, Xu Qing is getting ready to compete in swimming. After collecting his hardware with victorious performances at the Beijing and London Games, the 24-year- old retired for almost three years and understandably put on some weight. Well that all had to come off in order for Xu to get back to his previous level, and as Mike Fox can tell us, shedding fat is never fun.

It wasn't an easy journey, 24-year-old swimmer Xu Qing had to travel on to come back to the National team.  But when the coach saw him for the first time in training, it led huge disappointment for the famous Paralympic swimmer.

"When I met him he had a lot fat around his belly which almost looked like a life belt. He was too heavy and it showed in his swimming. Once he dove in, you could even see that his belly area trapped a lot of water!" said Paralympic swimming coach Li Mengzhong.

"When I met the coach, I was still hesitant about participating in these Paralympics, because I have been training for 3 years since London 2012. I knew my weight was surging up, and as a result my speed dropped. I didn't do well in the national championships and although Coach Li is very professional, I sure gave him a headache when I first got here, and after almost 10 months of training, he's still not sure about me," said Xu Qing.

Xu is well aware of his condition when he first came back to the team. Being an optimist he did not  let the difficulties get the better of him and at a time when both he and the coach were still unsure about his place in the squad, he has managed to control his weight and get back to form in training. He added an hour of running after the team routine and the hard work is paying off, at least it appears to be.

"After one month he slowly dropped a significant amount of weight. You can see his body shape now is back to form and not as soft as before," said Paralympic swimming coach Li Mengzhong.

"It's hard for me. I never had confidence at any Paralympics before. I still feel I'm the worst here but I hope my last Games will have a good ending. People say the best is always at the end, and if not, the best its still to come," said Xu Qing.

For Xu Qing, the recovery is still going on if he wants to get back to a Paralympic standard, but his mental state appears to be fixed which is more important for his life which is bigger than any sport.

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