UNNC’s alumnus and former sports staff, Zhao Shuai, takes a second gold in the Tokyo Paralympic Game

02 September 2021

2 September: Chinese athlete Zhao Shuai took his second gold in the Tokyo Paralympic Games in the Men’s Table Tennis Team Class 8 Competition. This comes just days after his first gold of the Games in the Singles Class 8 competition with a 3-1 victory over the Ukrainian athlete, Viktor Didukh, defending his titles from the 2012 and 2016 Games. Having studied and taught at the University of Nottingham Ningbo China (UNNC), Zhao Shuai’s triumph has been celebrated by both students and staff alike, and is now regarded as a source of pride for the university. 

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As an outstanding para table tennis player of TT8 class, Zhao Shuai has been teaching table tennis at UNNC as a special guest teacher since March 2021. His bond with the University dates back to 2016, when he studied English at UNNC with the financial support of the Deng Yaping Sports Scholarship. During this period, he was awarded the Vice-Chancellor’s Medal, which honours students and staff for their exceptional achievements.

This year, returning to the familiar campus of UNNC as a PE teacher, Zhao Shuai said he hoped to not only teach table tennis and share his experience in the field, but also to let students understand the importance of sports for health and to develop character and positive sportsmanship-like qualities, which coincides with UNNC’s philosophy on teaching undergraduate physical education. Sarah Humphreys, Director of Sport & PE at UNNC, commented: “our vision is to make sport work for everyone, regardless of ability, and that we embed habits in students for a lifetime of participation. Zhao Shuai embodies all that we strive for here, and we are extremely proud of his achievements”.

Zhao Shuai’s success goes hand-in-hand with his positive attitude. Sharing his experience he commented: "With a level mind, you can win and lose. When 'fighting' against the opponent, we have to adopt a mindset of ‘combat’ and make an all-out effort without holding anything back. Bringing glory to our country is above all else, and fought for the honour of my country, for my hometown, and for UNNC."

For now, the battle of Tokyo has come to a perfect conclusion, and Zhao Shuai is ready to embark on his next journey. Whether as a national athlete or as an alumnus of UNNC, the students and staff of UNNC will continue to hold Zhao Shuai and his achievements with the utmost of admiration and respect.