She was 11 when she tumbled off a platform into first place at the 1990 Goodwill Games; 12 years old when she became the youngest diver to win gold at the World Swimming Championships.
The next year, at 13, she entered the Olympic diving arena in Barcelona clutching a teddy bear. But her diving was all grown up. Her 10-meter platform performance made her the youngest Olympian to take the gold medal in that category. Her victory prompted the Olympic governing body to change the age minimum to 14.
Fu Mingxia, China’s diving prodigy, started her aquatics career in a river near her home in Wuhan at the age of five. After a brief stint in gymnastics, she switched to diving and was sent to Beijing for formal training. A short two years later, she entered the world stage.
Her achievements are too many to count, but her biggest was capturing both the 10-meter platform gold and the three-meter springboard gold at the 1996 Atlanta Games when she was 17. The last time such a feat was accomplished was in 1960 at the Rome Olympics. Only four women have ever won both.
Fu retired after the 1996 Sydney Olympics, and in 2002 married Antony Leung Kamchung, then the Hong Kong Financial Secretary. She currently lives in Hong Kong with her husband and two-year-old daughter.