Wed, Dec 15, 2004 - Page 19 News List

Taiwan's Olympic hero gets coaching offer in Shanghai

BUILDING BRIDGES The taekwondo gold medal winner Chen Shih-hsin has been visiting China this week on invitation of her Chinese counterparts

AP , SHANGHAI

Taiwanese taekwondo star Chen Shih-hsin (陳詩欣), a hero at home for winning the nation's first ever Olympic gold medal, has taken a coaching job at one of China's leading martial arts academies, a school official said yesterday.

Chen, who triumphed in the women's taekwondo 49kg category in Athens, signed on as executive general coach for the Qingpu Martial Arts Institute in Shanghai, said a vice president of the school, who only gave his surname, Chen.

"Her schedule is flexible, she can come to teach when she has time," the school official said.

light training

Since her Olympic win, Chen, 26, has been working toward a masters degree in sports psychology and taking on a light training schedule.

She was visiting Shanghai this week at the invitation of the Chinese Taekwondo Association, along with fellow Taiwanese men's Olympic gold medal taekwondo winner Chu Mu-yen (朱木炎).

Both China and Taiwan have encouraged such exchanges as a way of bridging the more than five-decade political split between them.

Chen was on her way back to Taiwan yesterday and could not be reached by telephone. She was quoted in media reports as saying she was thrilled by the coaching opportunity.

"I was really surprised because I consider it a really heavy burden," Chen was quoted as saying.

"I will definitely treasure it," she said.

Chen said she wanted to study marketing or management in the US, but also hoped to compete at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.

"It's hard to say [what I will do] right now," Chen said.

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