Second Place Winner, February 2013 XT Photo Contest
@Camp Nou, NYC dwells this fox with a Ph.D.
Teams: FC Barcelona
Gao Hong, 33
Goalkeeper, National Team of China
After China's participation in the 2000 Sydney Olympics, Gao Hong is currently workinbg as a sports reporter in China. She is a Canadian citizen and is considering joining the WUSA Women's Professional League in April 2001.
Gao Hong is not only the goalkeeper for the Chinese national soccer team but an inspiration and driving force behind the team. Her goalkeeping skills are second to none and are a combination of the flare of a Jorge Campos with the patience of a Walter Zenga. Many consider her to be the best goalkeeper in the world. Born on 11-27-67 Gao Hong is a member of China'a Guangdong Club. She has participated in two previous World Cups as well as being part of China's team which recently won the 13 Asian Games in Bangkok Thailand. After her competitive day have passed Gao would like to live in American and become involved in the development and growth of a women's soccer league. Ironically Gao has been a guest goalkeeper instructor at one of US Coach Tony Di Ciccio's goalkeeper camps.
Interview with Gao Hong by LACANCHA.COM
shortly before the Womens World Cup 1999
How old were you when you began playing soccer and why did you choose this sport?
Gao Hong: I began playing at 18 years of age. It was not my choice, for me to play soccer was decided by other persons.
Who made the decision for you?
GH: When I worked at a factory, the boss decided that I should play for the factory team.
How did you end up playing for the national team?
GH: I first played for the factory team, then went to the city team. After that I had an opportunity to play in the national games and then I became a player for a professional team. After participating in the national games, I was selected by the current coach to start on the China national team
How many people participated in the selection process with regard to national team selection?
GH: The current coach Coach Ma choose me from a total of 40 players
Did you play in the previous World Cup in 1995?
GH: Yes I did
What do you believe are the strengths of the United States team?
GH: The USA is one of the best teams in the world. It is well respected throughout the world. The professionalism that they show at the games particularly there extreme aggressiveness (of play) is what impresses us greatly.
What do you believe is the USA's weaknesses?
GH: The aggressiveness that is shown by the team just lasts for a short time. The depth (of aggressiveness) does not last from the first minute to the last minute. They appear to get tired as time goes on.
Is there any player that you admire most in your country for example and then in the world?
GH: I admire my teammate Sun Wen who is also the captain of the team. She is a very talented player. As far as the world I admire the goalkeeper of the Netherlands male national team (Van Der Sar).
Who do you believe will be the strongest opponent in this competition?
GH: I believe that my biggest opponent and anyone's toughest opponent for that matter is one's self.
What do you do in your spare time when you are not playing soccer?
GH: Well I am either traveling or reading.
What do you enjoy reading?
GH: Almost anything.[/b]
If you had a message for the USA team what would it be.
GH: I realise that this is now a very critical time for the USA team. I know the team is burdened with the mission of developing women's soccer in the USA. So we (China) can understand how much pressure the USA team is under right now. We realise that the development of women's soccer in the USA will definitely excellerate the speed of women's soccer world wide. So I sincerely wish them success in that regard. I would just like to say good luck to Tony Diccico because he is one of the persons that I admire the most.
Would you ever consider playing professional soccer in the US?
GH: Not as a player but, after the development of a professional women's league here in the states I would like to work with the league. I would like to [generally] learn more about soccer in the USA, but for now I would like to return to China.
Do you have any message for the children that will view this article worldwide via the internet?
GH: I encourage children to play soccer because playing soccer on the field as a child will be one of the most meaningful things in their lives. The experience children gain through soccer is something that that can carry with them for their entire live.