Right after Chinese diver Wu Minxia won her third Olympic gold medal, her family decided it was the right time to tell her a long-held family secret: her grandparents are dead.
Wu’s parents decided not to tell her about the death of her grandparents (or her own mother’s years-long battle with breast cancer) until after she had won the 3-meter springboard in London. Their reasoning? They didn’t want to interfere with Minxia’s diving career. “It was essential to tell this white lie,” said her father Wu Yuming.
A little bit you have to understand about Chinese Olympic athletes: they are crazy dedicated. Olympic athletes from China are government-backed, and have a harsh, almost militaristic “win-at-all-costs” mentality. Athletes in China are often taken away from their families at very young ages to train for hours on end. In the case of Wu Minxia, she began diving training at age 6, and left home at 16, bound for a government aquatic training institute, according to Yahoo!News.