Hu Huizi: From strokes to spikes

Twenty-three-year-old Hu Huizi is China’s emerging star. Competing at the 2024 WPV Women’s Super 6 in Nancy, France, Hu is showcasing her talent but also inspiring others about her versatility.

Hu’s athletic career began in 2012 when she started competing in Para swimming. For six years, she dedicated herself to the sport, demonstrating exceptional talent and perseverance. However, in 2018, she made a significant transition to sitting volleyball, a move influenced by challenges in Para swimming. This change opened new doors for Hu, allowing her to channel her athletic abilities into a team sport that would soon become her passion.

Reflecting on this move, Hu shared, “The shift from Para swimming to sitting volleyball was challenging, but it also felt like a fresh start. I was determined to make the most of this new opportunity.” Her determination paid off, and by 2019, she had earned a spot on the national team, quickly establishing herself as a formidable player.

Hu’s breakthrough came at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, where she was part of the team that secured a silver medal. This achievement was a proud moment for the young athlete, marking her as one of the promising stars in the sport.

“Winning the silver medal in Tokyo was fantastic. It was my first Paralympic medal, and it fuelled my desire to aim higher,” Hu reminisced. Now, as she competes in the WPV Women’s Super 6, Hu is focused on furthering her skills and contributing significantly to her team.

Her goal for Paris 2024 is not just to win another medal but to become a starter on her team. “I want to improve my game to the point where I’m a starter. That’s my personal goal, and I’m working hard every day to achieve it,” she explained.

Hu looks up to her teammates, especially the experienced players who have guided her journey. Among her inspirations are the team’s captain Xu Yixiao and the setter Lyu Hongqin.

“They are older and have worked incredibly hard. I admire their dedication and hope to emulate their success,” Hu said.

Competing at the WPV Women’s Super 6 in Nancy has been a significant experience for Hu. Facing off against some of the best teams in the world, she relishes the opportunity to test her skills and gain valuable experience. “Playing against top teams is always a great learning experience. It pushes me to be better and helps me understand what I need to improve,” she noted.

From her beginnings in Para swimming to becoming a future key player in her national sitting volleyball team, and with her eyes set on Paris 2024, there is no doubt that she will continue to make significant strides in her sport, striving not just for medals but for personal excellence and growth.