Reuters’ Pic of Olympic Weightlifting Gold Medalist Causes Stir in China


We’ve all taken bad pics either in front of or behind the camera. But few of us get them featured in major international news outlets and even fewer of us are gold medal-winning Olympic athletes.

Photo by Pixabay from Pexels.

Let’s face it: Action shots rarely look like something ideal or, you know, posed.

So it should surprise none of us that a picture chosen by Reuters of gold medal-winning female weightlifter Zhihui Hou lifting a weighted bar isn’t going to be a vision of serenity, to say the least.

The problem emerges when the website picked that shot but then cropped out the weights below it, destroying much of the context in the process.

And some on the Chinese Internet weren’t having it, accusing the news agency of intentionally picking a photograph that would make Zhihui Hou look bad.

The Chinese embassy in Sri Lanka even got involved, tweeting:

“Among all the photos of the game, @Reuters has chosen this one, which only shows how ugly they are. Don’t put politics and ideologies above sports, and call yourself an unbiased media organization. Shameless.”

Others in the Chinese media called the photo disrespectful, PetaPixel reports.

Indignation from one Chinese outlet was somewhat tempered when users on Twitter pointed out that they were guilty of using similarly unflattering photos of the same athlete. “Unflattering” photos showing her lift weights to a gold medal victory, but that’s being lost in a lot of this noise.

Others pointed out that there weren’t any complaints when unflattering photos of male athletes popped up in the press. All in all, your typical Internet/social media fight where no one really wins.

Do you think Reuters should have gone with a more flattering picture or was the action shot appropriate? Let us know your thoughts on the Chinese Internet’s anger over this issue in the comments section below.

We’ve got a bunch of other photography news articles you can check out at this link right here.


About Author

Kehl is our staff photography news writer since 2017 and has over a decade of experience in online media and publishing and you can get to know him better here and follow him on Insta.

The CCP/China and its citizens have a lot of nerve after poisoning the world with covid-19 to be griping about a photo and forcing its removal. Not to mention the human rights violations and general treatment of its own citizens. Complaining about a photo is laughable.

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