World champion swimmer encourages university students

Updated: 2016-11-03 14:50

By Xu Fan(

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World champion swimmer encourages university students

World champion swimmer Ning Zetao shares his view about life and future in New York University Shanghai. [Photo provided to China Daily]

World champion swimmer Ning Zetao encouraged Chinese young people to bravely follow their hearts in a recent conversation with about 300 students from New York University Shanghai.

The event, themed "Discover Youth, Discover the Best You", was held on Oct 21 at the college, which was jointly established by New York University and East China Normal University.

Ning, born in 1993, said a large number of Chinese young adults are well educated and talented, but lack self-confidence.

He hopes the young people will be faithful to their hearts in pursuit of their future life.

"I have practiced swimming for 15 years and became a professional athlete for 10 years. Just like most sportsmen, injuries have haunted me as the biggest trouble," he said.

"But I will never give up and stick to following my heart (for the love of swimming). The more you picture the moment you succeed, the more strength you'll get to walk on."

Ning also revealed he will take part in more charity events, as success for a person includes "helping more people".

He visited some children diagnosed with heart disease at a pediatric hospital affiliated with Fudan University on Oct 22.

David Pe, associate dean of students at NYU Shanghai, said he is impressed by Ning's passion for "promoting social responsibility and public service".

"There are very few people in his generation that I can think of who are using their star power to focus on being an agent for change rather than being featured in the columns of some tabloid magazine," Pe said.

"Ning inspires people his own age with a message of hope and the importance of challenging complacency," he said.

"Ning is calling to his peers to make a commitment; small or large to fellowship together to find creative solutions and engage in cross-cultural dialogue."

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