Nobody would know the first engagement with swimming heralded the long-lasting bond between Hou Zhuomin and this sport. Whether out of the craving for swimming or simply letting swimming become part of her life, Hou has kept practicing swimming for 15 years.
The Bitter sweetness in the Process of Realizing the Dream
No sooner had Hou been admitted to Tianjin University than her preparation for the 20th China University Swimming Championships began. Juggling with heavy study loads and tough training, the girl had to strike a delicate balance between the two by taking full advantage of her spare time. Even in the winter when the temperature hit the record low in the past 24 years in Tianjin, she didn’t skip one training lesson, just hoping to win the honor for her Alma Mater.
Remarkable Progress through Close Cooperation
200-meter butterfly event is a tremendous challenge for athletes’ physical strength and aerobic endurance, which requires a well-targeted and diverse training plan to help swimmers improve. However, the training schedule had been interrupted for 8 months due to the pandemic lockdown before the it resumed in April this year. Therefore, the time was against Hou and her coach Liu Tiegang. Confronted with the adverse conditions, they seized every single minute available to train in the swimming pool. Finally, the efforts of Hou and her coach paid off, with Hou’s overall qualities improved significantly.
Obstacles Transcended, Victory Secured
Just in the run-up to the championship, however, Hou felt under the weather. After a thorough examination, doctors suggested not participating in the game. Clearly aware of the responsibility on her shoulder and the sincere expectation from her coach and teammates, Hou, as one of the representatives from TJU, determined not to succumb to adversities easily. On the strength of her iron will and determination, Hou finally won the woman's 200-meter butterfly championship in group C in the 20th China University Swimming Championships.
March to the Top Dotted with Flowers
When talking about the future, Hou beamed with excitement and pleasure. “I am hoping to win the national championship in the following events. Meanwhile, I am striving to become a master of athlete,” said Hou, with eyes sparkling brightly.
Apart from daily training, this ambitious girl also leads a rich and varied life and has a wide range of interests, such as jogging, singing and reading. “Although swimming is one of my top priorities, these pastime activities could function as a buffer against stress from study and training.” During vacations or weekends, Hou likes to make an appointment with her bosom friend to go shopping and explore street delicacy, which also adds much zest to her life. The way to the top is predestined to a challenging road, but fortunately the little blessings gained from daily life can provide strength which sustains the dream much further.
By Cheng Sheng
Editor: Eva Yin