Wang Meng (王濛) is a Chinese short track speed skater and four-time Winter Olympic gold medalist. She won gold in the 500 m race in 2006 and 2010, and the 1,000m race and 3,000m relay at the 2010 Vancouver Games. Wang is the 500 m world record holder and, as part of the Chinese team, also holds the 3000 m relay World Record. She is one of the most decorated short track speed skaters of all time.
Wang is known for being outspoken and violating team rules. The gold medalist missed the 2007 World Short Track Speedskating Championships after the national team banned her for making inappropriate remarks about the team's strategy and coach Li.
The promising champion met her Waterloo when she hung out late in Qingdao on July 24, 2011, failing to return in time before the set curfew. Her team manager Wang Chunlu tried to talk to her, however, the two ended up in a fight, which sent Wang Meng to the hospital.
The Qingdao incident was not the first trouble that Wang Meng made to worsen the reputation of the national speed skating team.
In early June, Wang and her teammates were involved in a brawl with local security guards in Lijiang, Yunnan Province, when celebrating the Dragon Boat Festival at a local pub. Local police accused Wang and her teammates of making too much noise and singing after midnight. The dispute was resolved after Wang and her teammates paid compensation for damages to the city.
After the two incidents, Wang's dismissal became a hot discussion topic among netizens, many of whom believe China's athletes need to be more well-disciplined. A number of people believe the issue resulted from a systematic problem than a personal phenomenon.
An anonymous insider in the speed skating world said, "As for a special athlete like Wang Meng who has a strong personality, China's Winter Sports Administration took the wrong approach by quelling her and depriving her of the chance to speak out. This made Wang a target of public criticism and led to her psychological avalanche."
On August 4, 2011, Wang was expelled from the national speed skating team and banned from international competitions due to conflicts with coaches, violent behavior and drinking.
The punishment infuriated the hot tempered athlete, who made a quick response on her microblog, saying she would hold a press conference to reveal skeletons in the team's closet. However, not a piece of negative news has yet been leaked from the expelled champion.
On August 15, 2011, team manager Wang Chunlu was removed from her post due to her part in the July 24 incident.
In October 2012, Wang was reinstated to the national team.
On Jan. 16, 2014, Wang injured her right ankle during a training session with the national team, which is in Shanghai preparing for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics in Russia starting on February 7.
She collided with a teammate at high speed and suffered a comminuted fracture in her right ankle that created multiple bone splinters. The injury was reportedly more serious than the ankle injury sustained by hurdler Liu Xiang during the 2012 London Olympic Games.