Chinese National Team head coach and volleyball hero, Lang Ping, has confirmed she still plans to retire following the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games. Her initial contract, co-signed with the China Volleyball Association, expired at the end of this summer. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the postponed Olympic Games allowed Ping to renew her contract for one more year and will conclude at the end of 2021.
Lang Ping has long been considered one of the bests in volleyball history. She competed with the Chinese National Team in the 1980’s and achieved significant success including championships in the FIVB World Cup, World Championships and a gold medal at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.
Following her decorated career as a player, Lang Ping became head coach of the Chinese women’s volleyball National Team in 1995. Under her leadership, China won two silver medals at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta and 1998 World Championships in Tokyo, and two gold medals at the FIVB World Cups (2015 and 2019, respectively). In 2016, Lang Ping became the first person in volleyball history to win a gold medal at the Olympic Games both as a player and a head coach.
Despite her numerous accomplishments, Lang Ping says she still has ‘many goals’ for her final year:
‘It's not necessary to mention the gold medal of the Tokyo Olympics. Training new people and new coaches is also the goal that [I] will not give up...the team has eight young coaches, and they hand over the entire training plan and game plan to them for execution, and then come to check and put forward their own opinions. For the Chinese women's volleyball team to continue to develop, it is important not only to have sustainable player reserves, but also coach reserves.’
You can read the full press release regarding Lang Ping’s retirement on CCTV (an English version is available via Google Translate)