Recently, I saw a movie called “Leap”, it is a Chinese movie supposed to be shown on the theaters early this year during Chinese New Year celebration. However, because of the coronavirus, many theaters were closed and hence movies were delayed to be shown on the big screen. One of them is Leap, the other one was “Mulan”, just to name a few.
The movie “Leap” is a story about the Chinese women volleyball team, or to be precise is about its current head coach, Jenny Lang Ping. The movie begins by showing how hard the Chinese women volleyball team worked during the 80s, the years which they won many gold medals in the international games and Jenny was a member during that time and in fact she was the major spiker.
The head coach at that time was very harsh on the team members, he trained them with hard defense schedule, with high and powerful spikes and also didn’t allow Jenny to touch any ball before she could lift 50 kgs of weight. During that time, Chinese women volleyball had few major competitors, e,g. the Japanese team, the Soviet Union, Cuba and etc. The Japanese team were best known for their defense, they could save many unbelievable spikes. Cuba and CCCP on the other hand were best known for their attacks, The Cuban could jump very high, and could hit a lot of powerful balls. However, the Chinese team managed to win the international competitions 5 years in a row!
80s were the golden era of Chinese women volleyball. However entering the millennium, the team went through a lot of ups and downs, though they won a gold medal in the 2004 Anthens Olympics games. After 2004 games, the starting lineups had a lot of injuries, and the head coach started to use a lot of new players which lead the results were not very good at time.
During the 2008 olympics games, Lang Ping was hired as the head coach of the USA women volleyball team. She swapped her sides and because the game was held in Beijing, it had a lot attention in the media. In the game of US – China game, China lost and the Chinese fans was furious about her. They thought Lang Ping had betrayed them, betrayed her own home country.
However, after the Beijing Olympics games, Lang Ping resigned her head coach post for the US and at last appointed as the head coach of Chinese women’s volleyball team. The team results didn’t went good for a while and even it went worse. They lost a lot of games and didn’t do good in the first round in Rio’s Olympics and the results were barely enough for the second round. Everyone didn’t think they can make through to the semi-finals, because their opponents in the second round was the world’s champion, Brazil.
However, because of Lang Ping, during the match, the team performed better and better, and in fact they forced the fifth set. In the fifth set, the scores were tight. Sometimes China led, sometimes Brazil led. At last China won the match and beat Croatia in the final. Lang Ping did the impossible.
It is a movie must watch for the Chinese women’s volleyball fan, it has a lot of emotions and brings a lot of memories of good and the bad.