China’s swimmer-turned-internet darling Fu Yuanhui has told a mainland TV station that she is in urgent need of a boyfriend.
Dressed in a one-piece dress, 20-year-old Fu appeared in the latest episode of Zhejiang Television’s Champion Fun programme on Tuesday.
She revealed to viewers that she’d never been in a relationship because “there’s no appropriate candidate in our [swimming] team, and even the most handsome guys have become my brothers as we train together,” she said.
Fu, 20, made a sensation online earlier this month when she told a mainland TV reporter that she had used up all of her “mystical power” with funny facial expressions after winning bronze in the 100m backstroke final at the Rio Olympics.
Asked about her rapid rise to fame, Fu said it was accidental and she had no intention of becoming an internet personality as “it is not my profession”.
Fu blamed her “maturity” for not being able to find a boyfriend.
“I feel people the same age as me are not mature enough. But I don’t have enough interests in common with my older teammates,” she was quoted as saying in a separate interview with the Beijing Youth Daily.
After her team came in fourth in the 4 x 100m medley relay on Sunday, Fu told state media that she was swimming during her period, which made her feel tired, and breaking the sports taboo of talking about menstrual pain publicly.
On her return to Beijing on Tuesday, Fu told the Beijing Youth Daily that she was not the first Chinese swimmer to be frank about menstruation and felt her words were polite and inoffensive.
“To be honest, my teammate Zhao Jing [former world champion of women’s 50 metre backstroke] discussed menstruation with reporters at other swimming events. But the Olympics has a much larger influence.”