Fu Mingxia, the diving queen, was born on August 16, 1978 in Wuhan, the capital city of Central China's Hubei Province.
Fu left home at the age of 9 to train in Beijing. There she practiced diving every day with respected coach Yu Fen and often endured excruciating pain as an adult sat on her outstretched knees -- intended to correct her posture.
The sacrifices began to pay off 12 days before her 12th birthday when Fu earned the platform-diving gold medal at the 1990 Goodwill Games in the Unites States. Six months later, she became the youngest diver ever to win a gold at the World Championships. That prompted the international governing body to rule divers must turn 14 by the year of Olympics, World Championship or World Cup competition to participate, knocking her out of the 1991 World Cup.
Fu returned for the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games and became the youngest platform diver ever to win Olympic gold. She followed with a second gold in the platform at the 1994 World Championships, then easily won both the platform and springboard in the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games. In this year, Fu Mingxia was elected China's Ten Best Athlete of 1996.
"Tired spiritually" from years of competition, Fu then retired and began to study at Tsinghua University, one of the top universities in China. While enjoying a relaxed university life, Fu Mingxia felt something itching deep down inside her heart. It was the familiar splashing of water.
As if to comfort her nostalgia for the sport, a pool was built on the campus and a university diving club was started. In 1998, she decided to return and won two goldsinthe 1999 National University Games comeback. In 2000 in Sydney, Australia, victories in the springboard and platform made her the first diver to win five Olympic golds and only the third with double victories in two different Games.
Fu overwhelmed the whole world with her outstanding skills and sweet smiles and was elected into the Ten Beauties in the Sydney Olympics by the media.
After the event, Fu continued her study in the university and began to work for Beijing's 2008 Olympic Bid Committee, helping Beijing to win the bid.