TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Education Minister Pan Wen-chung (潘文忠) on Monday (Feb. 21) announced that the government will discuss disciplinary action against Olympic speed skater Huang Yu-ting (黃郁婷) within the next two weeks for her repeated "inappropriate remarks and actions" at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.
Huang first came under fire on Feb. 3 after she posted footage of herself training in a Chinese uniform. After Taiwanese netizens criticized her for sporting the uniform of a country that constantly threatens to annex Taiwan by force if necessary, she took down the footage but defended her actions by stating that "sports do not take nationality into account."
The Sports Administration initially stated that it would not take any disciplinary action against Huang for wearing the uniform but emphasized that athletes should exercise caution when making social media posts. Huang served as the female flag bearer as planned for the opening ceremonies but left for the U.S. on Saturday (Feb. 19), before the closing ceremonies and after finishing at the back of the pack in all three of her events.
During the games, she was cited by the Beijing Daily as saying that she felt warmly welcomed by the spectators in Beijing and that it "felt like competing on her home field." When asked during an interview with Deutsche Welle whether she was competing for China or Taiwan, Huang said she was a representative of "Chinese Taipei," the name Taiwan is forced to use in order to participate in Olympic competitions due to political pressure from China.
After finishing her last event on Feb. 17, she took to Facebook to invite "trolls and haters" to make comments. She posted the same invitation on Weibo, saying that the platform is the same as Facebook, so "people can't complain."
Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) on Saturday (Feb. 19) issued a statement condemning Huang's behavior and comments as "extremely inappropriate" and demanded that the Sports Administration conduct an investigation and apply appropriate penalties. He called on the sports body to set up criteria to guide athletes when they take part in international competitions.
Pan was cited by CNA as saying Monday that Huang had repeatedly made "inappropriate remarks and actions" during the Beijing Olympics. Pan said the Sports Administration is gathering relevant information and that it will hold a meeting with the Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee and Chinese Taipei Skating Union within two weeks to discuss Huang's subsidies, participation in competitions, and penalties.
Pan pointed out that Huang had apologized after practicing in the Chinese uniform. However, he said that she continued to exhibit "inappropriate remarks and behavior" and responded to Taiwanese with views on the matter with provocative comments and actions. This indicated Huang's behavior could no longer be described as a "one-time lapse in judgment," Pan stated.
He emphasized that athletes who represent the country receive training and funding that comes from taxpayers' money. Pan exhorted athletes to remember that they represent their country and that their words and deeds must meet the expectations of the Taiwanese people.