Taiwan’s Premier Su Tseng-Chang has demanded an investigation and possible sanctions against Olympic speed skater Huang Yu-ting, who on social media uploaded a photo in which she was wearing a Chinese uniform, a source close to the Premier confirmed on Saturday, February 19th.
Huang, 33, wore the clothes in a picture taken during training ahead of the Beijing Olympics, provoking a storm of protest. As the government’s Sports Administration urged athletes to be more cautious, Huang initially said that sports did not take nationality into account but later removed the picture. She failed to win any medals at the Winter Olympics, which closed on Sunday February 20th.
Critics widely assailed her behavior and comments as inappropriate, as China has threatened Taiwan with military force and only allows it to take part in international sports events under the name “Chinese Taipei.”
In a Saturday statement, Su’s office said the premier believed Huang’s actions were “extremely inappropriate” and has asked the Education Ministry and the Sports Administration under it to investigate her and give an “appropriate punishment.”
Taiwan’s Presidential Office added in a separate statement that it supported the “necessary” investigation and punishment. “Members of the national team represent the country in competitions, and there should not be any controversial words or deeds that damage the nation’s honor,” President Tsai Ing-wen’s spokesperson Xavier Chang said.
Huang, who carried the team flag at the opening ceremony, did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but when speaking to reporters in Beijing on Thursday reiterated the uniform had been given to her by a Chinese friend.
“For me, it was just the friendship. She gave it to me, the suit, and I just wore it when I was practicing. I didn’t mean anything. I posted the video because I just want to tell everyone that I go to the Olympics. I am happy with that,” she said, speaking in English.
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: MB.NTD.COM