125: Growing Up In China – Jiani Wu Interview

Oct 22, 2014 | GymCastic, Interviews, Podcast

jiani wu at the 1984 olympics and as a child in china

Jiani Wu


This Week's Interview

What was it like growing up in China before they were a gymnastics super power? Jiani tells us all about it. A native of Shanghai back when China was a closed society, Jiani was one of the first allowed to compete outside of the country. Wu helped the Chinese women win their first World Championships team medal, a silver at the 1981 Worlds in Moscow and a bronze for the team at the 1984 Olympics. We discuss:

  • Adjusting to coaching in the United States and working with parents.
  • The Yurchenko loop and Teza skills that she was doing back in the 70’s.
  • Her coaching philosophy and how it ties into her experience as an accidental champion.
  • Secret romances and how she met her husband in the training halls of the national training center.
  • The training schedule and beam complex seriousness of the Chinese training regime.
  • Gymnastics urban legend busting about China’s conditioning, pizza and hamburgers.
  • What China was like in the 1970’s before their athletes were allowed to compete outside of the country.
  • Coaching both of her daughters, 2012 Olympic alternate Anna Li and level 9 Andrea Li.
  • That time she Yin Alvarez’d when Gabby Perea hit her bar routine.
  • The major award China gave her for winning an Olympic medal.


Guest Links

Legacy Elite Gymnastics

flyer with Nastia Liukin for Legacy Elite Winter Classic meet registration

Related Episodes

Related Photos

jiani wu beam

Jiani Wu performing the Yurchenko Loop

gymnast Jiani Wu

Jiani Wu

Jiani Wu eponymous skill

Jiani Wu performing her eponymous skill on bars.

Related Videos
More Ways to Listen


GymCastic Itunes Icon stitcher-icon Download This Episode
  tumblr Google+

Creative Commons License

It's Easy (Come, Easy Go) to Enjoy This Gymnast's Bohemian Rhapsody Floor Routine at 2021 Worlds https://buff.ly/3Bi6M9W