In 2002, 18-year-old Tan Xue won the saber singles championship in the World Fencing Championships. This was a great coup for China, marking the country's historical breakthrough in the World Fencing Championships.
"Since I was still very young, I liked Zorro very much. He was a cartoon character with a sword always in his hands and swords often stimulated my interest," Tan said with a smile. In 1998, Tan was selected for the Tianjin women's saber team; she had been a hurdler previously. The young girl won gold medals in both the Asian Fencing Championships and National Fencing Championships in 1999.
Tan Xue and a few other delegates born in the 1980s made their debut at the current Party congress, catching wide public attention.
The young delegate enjoyed "double happiness" recently. "I did a good job in a competition a few months ago and I was told that I had been chosen as a delegate to the 17th CPC National Congress at the award ceremony," Tan told China.org.cn during an interview on October 19. "I am grateful for my good performance at the competition and I feel even happier being a delegate to the Party's event."
All her family members felt joy for Tan after hearing her good news. "It is very good. You should keep on trying and win more honor for our country," Tan's grandmother said.
Tan Xue, with four years of Party standing, did not expect to be involved in the Party congress since she was so young. "It is an important event and catches people's attention from all walks of life. Previously I watched Party General Secretary Hu Jintao on TV programs but this time I heard his report firsthand, it was very encouraging. I feel very excited and honored to participate in this historical meeting," Tan said.
She has studied Hu's report over and over again and was deeply impressed by the Party's attention to sports. The young delegate hopes that she can improve herself through attending the congress. She sets her only goal as winning a gold medal in the Olympic Games. "The most important dream for all athletes is to obtain gold medals during the Olympic Games and I also wish for this. I hope that I perform well at the 2008 Olympic Games," Tan said.
(China.org.cn by Yang Xi, October 20, 2007)