Nathan Chen, the 22 year old US Olympic figure skater who won gold for the United States last week in the men’s individual event has been attacked as a “traitor” on Chinese social media.
The social media platform Weibo, which is one of the most widely-used platforms in China, was flooded with users criticizing Chen for being a “traitor” to China for moving to the US and competing on the American Olympic team.
Some users called on Chen to “get out of China” while others called him “too white” and listed occasions on which they believed Chen had publicly insulted China.
Last year, Chen came under fire for backing ice dancer Evan Bates’ comments about the human rights atrocities occurring against the Uygur people in the Xinjiang region. After Bates voiced his opinion at a US Olympics and Paralympics event, Chen added, “I agree with what Evan was saying. I think that for a greater change to occur, there must be power that is beyond the Olympics.”
Chen says he has not been affected by the criticism from Chinese social media, largely because he does not have access to it. “I don’t have social media here. So I probably have been very sheltered from that. And I don’t plan on looking at social since [sic] sometimes social (media) can be a little toxic,” he said.
ARTICLE: LAURA SPIVAK
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: USFIGURESKATING.ORG
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