Following China's magnificent success in the 2012 London Games, People's Daily Online, one of the most authoritative news sites in China, made the country's first English-language Chinese sports documentary series — Beyond Gold, which soon received global recognition.
Meanwhile, following a lasting dominating reign in the Olympic squared circle, Shiming Zou, China's most talented boxer, made it official following the Games that he decided to retire from amateur boxing and step into a professional career, a decision that soon attracted global attention.
Among those who have shown interest in these two events above, few have more authoritative opinions on both subjects than Dr. Ching-Kuo Wu, who is a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the President of the International Boxing Association (AIBA) and a former athlete.
This elegant, well-mannered gentleman kindly spared some time and shared with Yahoo contributing columnist Zhenyu Li his takes on the heavy-hitting sports documentary series Beyond Gold and the two-time Olympic boxing champion Shiming Zou's future professional boxing career.
Yahoo: Dr. Wu, you know, the first English-language Chinese sports documentary series, Beyond Gold (produced by People's Daily Online) just came out. Did you notice that?
Ching-Kuo Wu: Yes. I reviewed People's Daily Online's Beyond Gold pages and the documentaries. I think it's an excellent idea to deliver the sport by sport knowledge in such an appealing fashion. This is a very excellent online service to the people. I think it's a very important step forward. I really want to give my sincere compliment to the People's Daily Online.
Yahoo: Could you tell me more specifically your impression about this documentary series?
Ching-Kuo Wu: I think this excellent documentary series, I would say, the Beyond Gold, the title of this program speaks volume. The gold is every athlete's dream, what they are craving for. However, what represents the true Olympic spirit, the Olympic value is something that goes beyond the gold.
I hope many young people will look at People's Daily Online and watch this program. They will learn a lot from those athletes and get inspired by the program. This program certainly encourages more young people, not only to get involved in sports, but also to learn some important values for their life.
I am especially impressed by the documentaries on China's boxing. I think every sport needs this kind of a documentary.
Yahoo: Talking about boxing, China's best boxer Shiming Zou has officially declared that he would retire from amateur boxing and start a pro career. As the AIBA President, what's your take on that?
Ching-Kuo Wu: I think Shiming Zou certainly has tremendous potential. We would very much like him to join either the WSB or the APB.
I hope his choice to join the professional is joining the APB, because he would be protected in the APB system and have a successful prolonged professional career. In the APB system, he could still have 10 years' boxing career until he reached 40.
And we offer a very secure income for the boxers joining the APB. If Shiming Zou decides to join, he'll receive very good income, and it would be stable and regular.
It's not like the traditional pro boxing career, in which you have one competition and you get a sum of money. And I can tell you, the actual income of most boxers by signing this kind of professional contract is not very much. But for APB, we'll directly pay the boxer, sign a contract for five years and guarantee four matches a year, and the boxer could also participate in the Olympic Games if his age is under 35.
If Zou joins the APB, he can certainly represent China to participate in the next Olympic Games. So, I hope he'll make a very good decision. But anyway, we wish him good luck and continue to be successful in his boxing career.
Yahoo: Do you mind if I inquire about the package the APB could offer to the boxers?
Ching-Kuo Wu: It certainly depends on the boxers' performances and titles. The minimum is $30,000 to 40,000 USD a year. That's what we guarantee. And the boxers will also receive a lot of bonus(es). The top-ranked boxers could receive as much as $300,000 USD per year. That is a five-year contract.
And there is one thing I want to address here, which is this: We'd very much like China to be a part of the future development of boxing. China has many good boxers and has the biggest number of the public to support the sport. If China is not willing to take part in the WSB, the APB could be another option.
We already have many many countries who want to take part in the 30 countries of the APB, but I still reserve this spot for China. We hope the Chinese Boxing Federation could make a quick decision. We'd love to see, in the forthcoming season, there will be a Chinese team.
Journalist: Lastly, regarding China's No.1 news site People's Daily Online that produced the Beyond Gold series, do you want to send some words to the site through the mass media?
Ching-Kuo Wu: I sincerely wish People's Daily Online to keep going, keep going to produce more excellent works to build a bridge between the public and sports. The AIBA currently has 196 national federations. I'll certainly encourage all member federations to add People's Daily Online to their respective media list. Hopefully, in very short time, People's Daily Online will become one of the word's leading websites.
(This interview was done on Oct 1, 2012 and originally appeared in Yahoo.)