The YouTube account titled Linyu Su released a year-in-review vlog today about Chinese Olympic champion Zhang Yufei. The vlog features footage from Yufei’s year and a narration outlining the struggles she encountered and feats she accomplished in 2022.
“In 2022, my year of fate, I’m 24 years old” the video begins. “During this year, the only thing that never changed is the changes itself. My original plans and expectations were messed up due to all kinds of reasons. Unexpected things pressed the pause key and slowed down my pace of life, giving me time to rest and make adjustments.”
One such expected situation that Yufei experienced this year was at the 2022 Short Course World Championships when she injured her elbow partway through the meet. Yufei shared her news about the injury on Weibo during the meet and withdrew from her remaining events including the 50 freestyle and 100 butterfly. She didn’t leave Melbourne empty-handed, however, having earned bronze in the 50 butterfly earlier in the meet.
Yufei raced to 3rd place in that event with a 24.71 to slightly trail Torri Huske (24.64) and Maggie Mac Neil (24.64). Yufei’s time was good enough to lower the national record and tie Rikako Ikee‘s Asian record from January 2018. The vlog featured a photo of those three podium finishers in Melbourne after their race.
Yufei makes mention of the fact that she won four bronze medals throughout 2022, calling herself the “bronze girl.” Yufei’s other medals came from the 2022 long course World Championships where she placed third in the three butterfly events. The 200 butterfly Olympic champion didn’t return to the top of the podium this year but her performance at the World Championships was enough an impressive feat of consistency across the three butterfly distances.
At Tokyo 2020, Yufei took home four medals including gold in the 200 butterfly and 4×200 freestyle (in world record time) and silver in the 100 butterfly and 4×100 mixed medley. Yufei mentioned in the vlog that amid a turbulent 2022, she is ready to use 2023 to continue working towards her next Olympic bid.
The video closed with a recap of Yufei’s travels and competitions in 2022 along with a preview of where she will go in 2023:
“2023 will be a crucial year on the way toward Paris, a year with a busy competition schedule, and challenging tasks. World Championships in Fukuoka, Asian Games in Hangzhou, Olympic qualification. Lofty goals are waiting for me, motivating me to continue going toward the new year.
“In the past year, my journey started from the Olympic torch in the frigid winter of Beijing, passed through the chilling spring of Shanghai, the lush green summer of Budapest, the invigorating autumn of Budapest, the mixture of warmth and coldness of Melbourne, and ended up in the winter of Jinan.
With thousands of love and a heart of original aspiration, I will make waves in the pool in 2023. I wish everyone to be safe and sound in the new year. See you in competition”