Chinese diplomats furious over media’s photo of Olympic gold medalist, call it shameless and racist

Chinese diplomats were offended and incensed when Reuters ran with what they felt was a very unflattering photo of Olympic weightlifting gold medalist Zhihui Hou taken as she grimaced while cinching the win for China, calling the media “ugly” and “shameless.”

“Among all the photos of the game, @Reuters has chosen this one, which only shows how ugly they are,” the Chinese embassy of Sri Lanka tweeted on Saturday in response to the photo by Reuters. The media outlet reported on Hou, 24, winning the gold medal in the women’s 49 kg weightlifting at the Tokyo Olympics.

“Don’t put politics and ideologies above sports, and call yourself an unbiased media organization. Shameless,” the embassy’s tweet angrily concluded.

China’s state-sanctioned media outlet the Global Times reported on the “controversial photo” on Sunday, accusing Western media organizations of “unfairly targeting China” in their Olympics coverage.

(Video Credit: NBC Sports)

The embassy went on to accuse Reuters of racism: “Same day, same Olympics, same @Reuters, different faces. Maybe it’s because everything good in life comes easier for the white westerners? We said that these biased MSM are ugly. Never the athletes. They’re beautiful, no matter their colors and nationalities.”

Journalist Munza Mushtaq had a different take on the contentious photo.

“I think its a well captured photograph, which shows nothing good in life comes easy. Its upto the person viewing the picture to interpret it, but most will appreciate this. Its quite sad that the embassy finds this ‘ugly.’ If it was a beauty pageant then its a different matter,” Mushtaq tweeted.

China won three gold medals on the first day of the Tokyo Olympics.

Hou broke the Olympic records in all three of her categories including snatch, clean, and jerk, and totaled the lift with 210 kg, which is three kilos short of her own world record. She holds the world record with 96 kg in snatch as well. China handily beat both Indian and Indonesian medalist rivals.

India’s Mirabai Chanu, who lifted 202 kg, took the silver at the Tokyo International Forum. Indonesia’s Windy Cantika Aisah took the bronze after lifting 194 kg.

Hou’s gold medal helped finally resolve the disappointment of 2016 when a knee injury forced her to miss the Rio Olympics.

“I felt very happy when I finally made it,” proclaimed Hou. “In one second all the stress disappeared. I prepared for five years so it means a lot to me.”

“I just wanted to enjoy the Games. I don’t care about the world record or something,” she stated. “I just want to be myself, be all of myself.”

Hou is being detained in Tokyo on suspicion of doping and is being tested before heading back to China. It could cost her the gold medal if it is found that she tests positive for a banned substance.

The Olympic rules clearly state that if an athlete fails the doping test, then the athlete who has won the silver medal will be awarded the gold. That development would be far more humiliating than the Reuters photo.

The ratings for the Tokyo Olympics this year hit a 33-year low as “woke” politics dominated the coverage. China is apparently also introducing accusations of racism into the mix.

China’s attack against Reuters was not well-received on social media:

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