Its a great honor to be a witness today to attend the graduation ceremony of students and sisters. I graduated from Tsinghua in 2001, 18 years ago at that moment, I still remember: finally graduated!
But you know what? It was a graduation ceremony for me alone. Because I am going to Moscow to attend the 2008 Olympic bid presentation, I can not catch up with the graduation ceremony held by the school, so the school held a special graduation ceremony for me in the Foreign Language Department. At that time, we felt that the degree of Tsinghua University is much more difficult than the world champion!
Today, I walked from the stage to the stage. I want to ask you a question first: What does the word Tsinghua mean to your students and younger sisters?
It may mean honor, pride, hard work in the past few years; it may mean first love, disappointment, or, more likely, four years of single life - dont be afraid, because there may be five years and six years left.
But as a schoolgirl, what I want to share with you is: Be careful of the word Tsinghua and become your shackles.
In fact, seriously, my first graduation was in 1997, I announced retirement from the table tennis team. The status of world champion almost became my shackle.
I was just over 24 that year. I was no less famous than the current traffic stars. Before I retired, I ranked first in the world for eight consecutive years. I won 18 Olympic and world champions. I was the first woman in the womens table tennis Grand Slam. I was also the worlds recognized and the best woman athlete in history at that time.
But do you know what that means? This means that 99% of the possibilities are already the pinnacle of my life. Almost all people believe that Deng Yapings greatest achievement in her life.
This means that no matter what I do or do in the next 50 years, I have a great probability that I will not be able to surpass my achievements in the previous 20 years. If I go to politics, even as a director or even a minister, Im just one of those officials; if I go to business, Ill make 1 million, 10 million, 100 million, even the rich list cant be squeezed in.
What do you mean by the rest of my life?
I am very sure that every appearance in the second half of my life, even if I go to hip-hop and hip-hop, will be introduced as former world champion and former female table tennis player Deng Yaping. For example, just now, thats how the teacher introduced me.
At that time, in fact, from any angle, my life has been tightly sealed. In front of me is a straight, clear downhill road.
So sometimes I find it funny to hear young people say they are confused. Sorry, they are not qualified. Everyone sitting here is not qualified.
Even in the face of such a dark future, I have never been desperate. Where do you talk about confusion?
Before I retired, I began to think about what I was going to do afterwards. Ninety-nine percent of the people around suggested coaching. As a coach, bring out the national champion; as a bigger coach, bring out the world champion; and as a head coach, bring out more world champions. This is also the most logical way for former athletes to retire.
Even until the first two months, when I went to CCTV to comment on the World Table Tennis Championship, there were many audience members who were very enthusiastic and even a little sorry to leave a message saying, Alas, Deng Yaping explained so well, its a pity not to be a coach!
We have a characteristic, but if you do something unique and different, everyone will come around and give you advice in a very kind and warm tone: Dont do that.
But I didnt want to be a coach then. Anyway, there must be a downhill road in front of me, so I have to do something different. Dont you think athletes have developed limbs and simple minds? Dont you think that athletes are gilded and deceived in their studies? But I dont believe it. I want to prove to others that athletes can learn too! _____________
Im more energetic. This is my original intention to study in Tsinghua University after my retirement. I just want to challenge this prejudice.
When my alma mater admitted me, it was also under great pressure. Some outside commentators say that if you recruit Deng Yaping, are you celebrities and celebrities in Tsinghua? But thanks to the teacherscollective discussion, following the tradition of encouraging differences and employing talents, I agreed to enter the school.
So I have never relaxed. Maybe you can write down an English speech in less than half a day. If I want to imitate it sentence by sentence, it will take me a month.
But it is in such a process, although very difficult, but slowly I began to find a little self-confidence, feel that they are not so stupid, maybe really can do some learning.
Eleven years later, when I graduated from the University of Cambridge, I dared to say to my alma mater, Look, Deng Yaping, I didnt disgrace Tsinghua!
Bachelors degree, masters degree and doctors degree add up to the second graduation in my life. This graduation, although not my retirement halo, will not be so multimedia coverage, but for myself, but more proud.
You may ask, whats so special about this? Did Deng Yaping really succeed? In fact, since my retirement, the voices of doubt and criticism have never ceased. I know all about it.
If one thing is done well, its because I use the reputation of the Olympic champion; if its not done well, many people begin to laugh: You see, its really screwed up!
But I have always remembered Mr. Hu Shis words: Success need not be in me, but merit must not be donated. Yes, I am not the most successful representative of my own career, but I have proved one thing or one thing that I have done, that is, athletes can have different choices.
Think about it. If another athlete retires, he will face more than just coaching and leading the team. In front of him, there is a man named Deng Yaping who has broken a path of doctorate, investment and management.
And I am even more proud that he must be under less pressure than I am. Because as long as he does better than Deng Yaping, its enough. He does not need to be the most talented doctor, as long as he is more knowledgeable than Deng Yaping; he does not need to be the most visible investor, as long as he earns more than Deng Yaping.
The comparison he has to endure is no longer the comparison between athletes and non-athletes, but the comparison between himself and Deng Yaping. I have always been very proud of this.
Just now, this is my second graduation in my life. But soon, I found myself in trouble again.
In 2008, I received a doctorate in eight classics from Cambridge University. I suddenly became a female doctor. Are there many female doctors here? In our Humanities College, if I look at it like this, the proportion of female students should be higher than that of male students, right? You must know how much social pressure a female doctor has to face when she graduates.
Until today, in my micro-blog messages and private letters, people keep saying, Deng Yaping, you are almost 50 people, cant you teach your husband well? You are so strong, what else do you want to do! Well! I wondered, what is what else do I want to do? I invest, manage and consult. Isnt that all work?
If a man changes careers in middle age, you say he is brave to challenge; if a woman changes careers in middle age, you leave a message saying, What are you going to do? Why?
In fact, said so much, I also know, Tsinghua students shoulder the pressure. You have been highly expected by your parents, teachers, classmates and all the people around you since four or even ten years ago. Everyone is waiting for your success, and its great success.
Academic and professional achievements, I heard that you graduated from Tsinghua, Oh, no wonder... If something goes wrong, the tone becomes: Tsinghua is at this level!
The whole society asks us to be Chinese in Qing Dynasty by the highest standards. Everyone around you will give you a warm reminder: you should go to study abroad; you should go to foreign enterprises; you should calm down to do research... Every reminder contains should and should not.
Why are there only a few ways for Tsinghua students to graduate? I deeply wish and hope that every student and sister can break the prejudice and shackles around them.
Looking back on my life, my first graduation - retirement from the table tennis team, the greatest achievement is not only those gold medals, but also proof: short athletes, can also win the world championship. Previously, those small players who would be brushed off by coaches in the first round because of their short stature were given more chances after Deng Yaping appeared.
The second graduation is academic graduation. I got not only a diploma, but also a proof to future generations that athletes can come to read! Athletes do not mean developed limbs, simple mind!
Now, I look forward to my third graduation. I hope that gender will no longer be the focus of attention.
Students, this year, the number of college entrance examinations in China has exceeded 10 million, while our admission quota in Tsinghua is only about 3000. That is to say, only about 0.03% of people of the same age can be admitted to Tsinghua University.
I am proud that I have not made the four words world champion the only achievement in my life, and I wish all my classmates not to let graduation from Tsinghua become your greatest achievement in your life.
From this moment on, I wish you to put everything down and start from scratch. There is only one thing I hope to keep in your heart, that is our pride of the Qing Chinese; we can break all prejudices, but there is a prejudice that you hope to keep in your heart, that is, self-improvement, good morality.
Gentlemen should run like the heavens, and be perseverant even when they are displaced. If you are a gentleman, you should measure things like the earth, and nothing cant be carried.
Our every choice and every job is not only for ourselves, but also for the wider population, for the people and for the motherland. Ultimately, it should be for the sake of mankind as a whole.
Fifty years of working for the health of our motherland, Qing Chinese, come on!
The media or the public opinion, most of the time only care about your achievements, but not about the significance of your doing this. But for myself, thats the greatest value.
Source of this article: Netease Sports Responsible Editor: Cao Liemen_NS1806