Lifestyle & Belief

Chinese swimmer Lu Ying, silver medalist at the London Olympics, criticizes China's training methods


China's silver medalist Lu Ying poses on the podium after the women's 100m butterfly final swimming event at the London 2012 Olympic Games on July 29, 2012 in London.



A Chinese Olympic medalist did something unusual on Sunday: she criticized her own country. Lu Ying won the silver medal in the women's 100 meter butterfly on Sunday. She spent some time training for the games though in Australia, Reuters reported. In a press conference after her win, she explained why she preferred Australia.

"In China we're used to study, study and train, train and then rest," she said through an interpreter at the press conference, according to Reuters. "I think our way of thinking has many limits. In Australia I've been invited to barbecues with my teammates - that would never happen in China."

More from GlobalPost: When the BRICs crumble

Lu, 23, said that Australian swimmers are also more relaxed before smaller races. "Before training they (the Australians) go and have fun, they are not afraid of being tired before training," she said, according to Agence France-Presse. "In China, before any competition, you have to be rested and focused and you can't think of anything else...They (Australia) have an enthusiasm for swimming which makes me feel different and you ask yourself 'do you train for yourself or someone else?'"

Australian Olympic diver Sharleen Stratton echoed Lu's sentiments. "[Chinese athletes] start when they're so, so young and they just train and train everyday," Stratton told MSNBC, speaking after finishing fifth in the 3m synchronized springboard final."They live with their coaches, it's just a completely different lifestyle to what what we have in western countries."