Xu Yaping teaches a student to kayak. [Photo/hangzhou2022.cn]
Xu Yaping, a canoeing world champion, recently inspired students with her personal story during a sharing session held at the Hongyi Middle School in Xihu district, Hangzhou, local media outlets reported.
Unlike the typical story of an athletic talent being scouted out by a coach and receiving professional training, Xu, a formerly thin and introverted rural girl considered to have no athletic talent, succeeded due to her unswerving faith and strict training regimen day after day.
She also introduced her favorite book to students – Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain – and expressed her hope that students will be able to improve themselves and achieve success through reading and exercise.
Xu also prepared a handmade kayak for the session and gave students the chance to experience the sport for themselves.
In addition to being a canoeing world champion and world-famous athlete, Xu has many other titles, such as deputy director and secretary-general of the China Water Sports Development Center of Zhejiang University, the first female R4-level instructor of IRIA Asia, and the technical instructor of the International Assault Boat Search and Rescue Team. She is also the first teacher at a Chinese college to set up compulsory water education courses on canoeing, canoe polo, paddle boarding, paddle board yoga, rowing, dragon boat, and water rescue.
A student at Hongyi Middle School presents a canoe painting to world champion Xu Yaping. [Photo/hangzhou2022.cn]