Ye Shiwen’s Coach Xu Guoyi Hospitalized For Brain Tumors

Chinese coach Xu Guoyi, the trainer for a host of accomplished swimmers including world record-holder Ye Shiwen, underwent surgery last month for cancerous tumors in his brain.

Xu is 45 years old, and coaches some of China’s top athletes, including the 2012 Olympic 200 and 400 IM champ Ye, rising backstroke star Xu Jiayu and junior world record-setter Li Zhuhao. reports that Xu underwent surgery in late December after doctors detected malignant glioma in his brain. According to, Xu’s glioma was considered a grade IV, which is the most serious case of the brain tumors.

The surgery took place on December 29th, according to Meanwhile reports that the surgery was a success, and that doctors downgraded the diagnosis to Grade III, which is less severe.

Both sources report that Xu kept the surgery quiet so as not to disturb his swimmers during training. reports, though, that the lengthy recovery period required in these sorts of cases means Xu may be unable to return to coaching for some time. That would require his athletes to undergo a coaching shakeup of some sort, with the 2016 Rio Olympic Games now just seven months away. includes a brief profile of Xu, noting that he is well-loved by his athletes, and puts a premium on educating his swimmers as people, not just developing them as athletes.

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4 years ago

If it’s translating correctly, this is a cancer with about a 10% five year survival rate. While I’m not a huge fan of the Chinese swim federation, not something I’d wish on a person and hope he can maximize his enjoyment and fufillment of the time he’s got left.

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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