This week, special guest Ms. Yang Yang, an Olympic champion speed skater, visited Shenzhen Campus. As a member of Whittle School & Studios’ Global Advisory Committee, she has always paid close attention to both Whittle and education as a whole. During the event, organized by the Shenzhen Studios team on Thursday, Yang Yang made an inspiring speech to the teachers and students on campus: go beyond yourself.
Yang Yang delivering her speech at Shenzhen campus
"Visiting Whittle today, I’ve found that everything here is beyond my imagination of education. I can't wait to send my daughter to study at Whittle."
Yang Yang gently and kindly shared her career journey and thoughts on life with everyone present. "Despite winning the short-track speed skating Olympic championships several times, I still feel like I'm on the edge of a cliff, like I'm going to fall off if I don't work hard. I don’t let up on myself for even a moment.”
Yang Yang visiting Shenzhen campus with Whittle’s leadership team
Yang Yang has a deep sense for how to face failure. It’s hard to imagine the disappointment and frustration she felt after missing the medal in one Olympics game after torturous training. However, she mustered up the courage to replay her own race videos over and over again, looking for ways to improve and to practice setting out, entering curves, pedaling ice, and sliding. She believed that if she took every step resolutely, success would follow.
After retirement, Yang Yang took a new step forward. One quote that she said inspired her at the time is: "If a ship sails at sea without one object, it can never reach its destination, as wind in any direction will become its resistance." She started to set short-term goals and tried to achieve them one by one. After successfully completing her studies, she tried various kinds of jobs, taking up different roles in her work and life.
During that period, she also made it clear that she would "do what she likes, what she can, and pursue what she should pursue."
She decided to continue promoting the value of sportsmanship and contribute to society by training the next generation of sports talents through social programs such as the Champions Fund and at skating schools.
Pictures of Yang Yang and School Leadership Team
As Mr. Whittle said at the beginning of the lecture, the word "荟同”（Whittle in Chinese） means that we are committed to bringing talents together from all walks of life in China and abroad to work tirelessly for the betterment of the next generation. Yang Yang's speech inspired everyone. This kind of influence will encourage everyone in our Whittle family to continue "going beyond themselves" in the new year as they strive to be the best versions of themselves.