Teenager Su Yiming is used to fast-paced action, but he’s really taken things up a notch at the Beijing Winter Olympics.
The 17-year-old Su is a former child actor, appearing in the 2014 action movie “The Taking of Tiger Mountain” when he was 8, alongside superstars including Tony Leung, before deciding to drop acting for snowboarding.
And his time at the Winter Games has read more like a movie script, with twists and turns galore.
Last week, the Chinese snowboarder narrowly missed out on a gold medal in the slopestyle event to Canada’s Max Parrot, eventually claiming silver.
However, unbeknownst to the judging panel at the time, the Canadian had grabbed his knee instead of his board during a trick — a mistake which would have resulted in a points deduction.
“We judged from the media angle that we were given,” Iztok Sumatic, Head Judge for Olympic Snowboarding, told CNN Friday, stating that “from that point of view … we saw a clean execution.”
“Afterwards, when the score was already in, the TV replay showed the trick from another angle, where it was clearly shown that Max grabbed the board for a split second, but then let it go and just grabbed his knee,” added Sumatic, who likened the moment to the infamous Diego Maradona ‘Hand of God’ goal against England at the 1986 FIFA World Cup.
While it is difficult to know if Su would have come out on top, Sumatic acknowledged that “the score might have been different.”
“It’s been very tough, there were a lot of hateful comments,” said Sumatic, referring to the backlash from fans.
Despite missing out on first place in such circumstances, Su showed no signs of being effected, bouncing back to win his own gold in the big air event on Tuesday.
“I had many dreams when I was a child,” Su said. “To be an Olympic champion was one of them, and today, I already realized my dream.
“There will be more and more challenges in the future. I will be more concentrated on my goals. All I need to do is to deliver all my efforts to achieve my goals.”