China’s star gymnastics veteran Cheng Fei stunned millions at the 2008 Olympic Games when she failed to bring home the gold on the vault and the floor exercise in front of her home country’s audience. Cheng had been the undisputed favorite all along but buckled under the pressure and exhaustion after having led her team to its first ever Olympic gold medal in the team final.
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After the Games, Cheng kept a low profile, but recently, she decided to come out of retirement and fight for a spot on the 2012 Chinese Olympic team. She is also most likely thinking about finally grabbing those gold medals on the vault and floor (Cheng also missed out on floor gold in 2004, which devastated many of her fans that thought she possessed the perfect mix of artistry, power, and grace).
This weekend, Cheng will return to competition at the Zibo Cup, part of the World Cup series of events prior to the Olympic Games. In a short Chinese Chanel TV news segment, Cheng looks strong and in admirable shape. She does not appear to have her signature two-and-a-half twisting Yurchenko vault back, but she performed a few decent double twisting Yurchenkos in training and seemed to have plenty of extra power to bring her old vault back.