China Blasts Reuters For Using ‘Ugly’ Picture Of Olympic Athlete

(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

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Chinese officials called Saturday a photo of the country’s gold-winning female weightlifter used by Reuters “ugly,” accusing the outlet of politicizing sports.

Hou Zhihui, 24, won a gold medal for China in the women’s 49kg event after lifting a total of 210kg on the opening day of the Olympic Games in Tokyo, according to Fox News.

The Chinese embassy in Sri Lanka attacked Reuters over a photo of her lifting a weight at the event the news service had used as the cover of the story.

“Among all the photos of the game, @Reuters has chosen this one, which only shows how ugly they are,” the tweet read.

“Don’t put politics and ideologies above sports, and call yourself an unbiased media organization. Shameless,”  the embassy said, calling on the media to respect the Olympics. (RELATED: US Senators Fly To Taiwan, Chinese Media Loses Its Mind)

In a separate tweet the same day, the Chinese embassy responded to a comment by a Twitter user who suggested that the photo choice was meant to convey a message that “nothing good in life comes easy.”

The embassy page’s response tweet contrasted the cover photos of stories about white Olympians with the photo used for Zhihui.

“Same day, same Olympics, same @Reuters, different faces. Maybe it’s because everything good in life comes easier for the white westerners?” the tweet said.

The following day, the Chinese embassy’s Twitter page applauded Reuters’ cover photo pick in a story about another Chinese gold-winning weightlifter, saying that the “difference has been noticed.”