An Australian Olympic commentator faced backlash this week after she commented on the Chinese athletes all looking “the same,” and now she’s clearing the air.
“Just finished the Aerials, I’ve noticed a whole bunch of comments about my remarks re the Chinese,” Jacqui Copper tweeted in regard to her coverage of the women’s aerial freestyle ski competition. “I need to make it clear I was talking about the jump. The Chinese are trained by one coach with one technique, their aim is all to jump the same. Bring on the final tomorrow night.”
Her employer, Channel 7, also issued a statement addressing her remark, saying, “During tonight’s commentary of the Women’s Aerials, commentator Jacqui Cooper, a former Olympian and World Champion, noted that an aerial maneuver was in a technical and style sense, very Chinese. Meaning that the whole of the Chinese aerial team are trained in the same way – and the maneuver referenced was a classic, technically perfect, trademark of that team’s style.”
“At no time was the commentary racist, intended to be racist or offensive,” the network added.
Cooper came under fire after covering the event when she said, “Real nicely done, great control, very Chinese. They all look the same, they’re very hard to tell who’s who.” Social media users were quick to criticize the comment, calling it racist: